Global Health Nexus, Summer 2001

Local Heros: Drs. Suela Lenas and Cory Metzger

A traumatic night last summer ended much more happily than a family had expected when two NYU Dentistry General Practice residents came to the rescue of a young girl who had fallen and suffered facial injuries.

Samantha Foster, age 9, was brought by her parents to the Bellevue Hospital Center Emergency Room at 9:30 p.m. with chin trauma, abrasions on her face and, it appeared, one of her front teeth missing and several others damaged. The oral and maxillofacial surgery resident on duty, Dr. Steven Young, discovered that the “missing” tooth had really been pushed completely up into Samantha’s gums. He also determined that the injuries to her chin and the rest of her face were relatively superficial.

Once the situation was assessed, Dr. Young escorted the Foster family across First Avenue to NYU Dentistry, since he did not have the orthodontic supplies needed to provide care. By now it was 2:00 a.m., Sunday morning. The security guard on duty contacted Dr. Suela Lenas and Dr. Cory Metzger, who proceeded to remove the wire braces and brackets that had been forced up into Samantha’s gums along with her tooth. By 4:00 a.m. everything was under control, and the family was assured that the pushed-up tooth would reemerge and fall back into place.

One week later, Samantha’s parents wrote that they hope NYU Dentistry appreciates the “above and beyond the call of duty efforts of Drs. Metzger and Lenas.” We certainly do!