Chair: Amr M. Moursi, DDS, PhD
Professor, Pediatric Dentistry
The Department of Pediatric Dentistry was founded in 1939, as one of the first in the nation, and has always been committed to community service and care for the underserved. The department established a modality of nonpharmacologic behavior management and anticipatory guidance that has been a model in the specialty. The core philosophy is that oral health care of the infant and child is the responsibility of the primary care provider and through health promotion and prevention of oral disease, every child can grow up with a healthy and intact dentition.
The Department of Pediatric Dentistry has developed programs to aid in improving access and providing care to children regardless of their medical or financial status. There is a long history of working with the community and public schools to provide oral health education and treatment to children. A unique aspect of this community service is the NYU Dentistry mobile van Smiling Faces, Going Places that brings comprehensive dental care to underserved populations in New York City at public schools, Head Start facilities, and shelters for homeless children of New York City. Some of the other programs include the following:
- A 25-year history of providing care to public school children at the pediatric dentistry clinic for comprehensive care through a school busing program.
- Outreach programs that provide examinations to 5,000 children annually including physically and emotionally challenged children
- Community health fairs citywide to provide oral health education, screenings, and referrals, including the New York City Special Olympics, Special Smiles Program.
- Affiliation with New York City Administration for Children's Services and Head Start centers to provide oral health examinations and a busing treatment program for comprehensive care.
- “Playing It Safe” Mouth Guard Program to provide preventive service through community centers and schools.
Research in the Department has focused on the early treatment, preventive strategies, and educational models to disseminate this information to the necessary providers and parents of the pediatric population.Some of the present research projects in the department include investigations of utilization of emergency services, oral health disparities, compliance with care, use of topical and local anesthesia in pediatric patients, developmental norms, and effective early intervention strategies.
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