The American Dental Association (ADA) Foundation will award a three year, $375,000 grant to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center (AIMMC) to support a new program designed to improve access to oral health care for children with special needs.
The grant funding will support AIMMC’s Dental Anesthesiology Residency Program, which will operate in conjunction with the General Practice Residency and Special Needs Dentistry programs to deliver exceptional oral care to patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The new program will be a model for the advanced training of dental anesthesiologists, who play an important role in the provision of oral health care to children with developmental and physical disabilities. Such children frequently require deep sedation or general anesthesia for safe dental care and their access to such care is often limited by the availability of hospital operating room time. AIMMC’s new program aims to increase service capacity and ensure that more children with special needs are connected to a dental home, thereby improving oral health outcomes among this vulnerable population.
Program goals include:
- Expanding AIMMC’s Special Needs Dentistry Program to serve more children at an earlier age through referral relationships that link children with special needs to a dental home at the Dental Center;
- Improving care for children with special needs through increased capacity to manage cases in an outpatient setting; and
- Providing a model program for improving the oral health status of children with special needs.
The Special Needs Dentistry Program is a unique dental program that Advocate Illinois Masonic launched in 1970. Advocate Illinois Masonic’s dental anesthesia residents will work alongside general practice residents in the treatment of patients with special needs in the operating room and a newly built anesthesia suite in the Department of Dentistry. The program is enhanced by a mobile dental van, which residents rotate weekly with staff to offer oral care to special needs patients who otherwise may not have access to this type of care.
To learn more about this program, visit ADAFoundation.org.