The Dental Medicine Service is a model program for the treatment of patients who present the most challenging dental cases, and the training of professionals who seek to help them. Since 1957, the service had continually provided a full scope of dental services to individuals with physical, developmental, and psychiatric disabilities.
Due to their medical condition, the patients usually have special needs when it comes to dental care. For instance, they may have intractable seizures or be unable to transfer from a wheelchair to a standard dental chair. These challenges may have discouraged them from receiving the dental care they need. The service treats approximately 4,000 patients each year, including individuals who live in 150 group homes from throughout a wide geographic area.
The staff interacts closely with the patient’s family and caretakers. Because in many cases they need to overcome past negative experiences the patient has encountered, the staff takes the time to explain in detail what services will be performed and how they will be delivered.
The staff is comprised of a dedicated team, including dentists, residents, hygienists and assistants, who treat adults and children. The professional staff holds academic appointments at the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine.
Because the service limits its practice to serving individuals with disabilities, its members excel in evaluating the patient’s physical and mental capabilities, as well as any limitations, and in developing an appropriate treatment plan.
The service has a procedure suite dedicated solely to the practice of comprehensive dental treatment via general anesthesia. Physicians and other dentists regularly refer their most challenging cases to us.
The Service is well equipped to provide everything from a cleaning to complex surgical procedures. A doctor is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Complimenting the provision of patient care is the other half of the department’s mission: serving as a training center for professionals. Since 1987, the department has provided a residency program for two dentists who want to obtain the specialized skills required to work with special populations. These individuals have gone on to practice at major medical centers – such as Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC, Waterbury Hospital and Yale-New Haven Medical Center in Connecticut, Children’s Hospital in Boston, University of Alabama, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Marquette University and Saint Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in New Jersey – entered private practice, and have established unique services, such as the Special Patient Care and HIV Clinic at Albany Medical Center. Our graduates have been accepted into post-graduate programs at Harvard University, University of Michigan, New York University, Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center, Cleveland MetroHealth Center, St. Barnabas Hospital and Columbia University.
For additional information on any of our services, or to make an appointment, we encourage you to contact us directly. The Dental Medicine Service accepts referrals from dentists, physicians and other health care providers, or you may make an appointment for an evaluation and treatment.
845-786-4097 OR 1-888-70-REHAB, ext. 4097