OHSU

Gifts to Dean's Fund Build Pediatric Dental Surgery Clinic

03/17/10  Portland, OR

OHSU School of Dentistry unveiled its new Pediatric Dental Surgery Clinic in early August. The 750-square-foot clinic, located in room 08443 on the eighth floor of Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, was paid for entirely by donations to the Dean's Fund for Excellence.

“There’s a real access to care issue for children with special needs,” said John Hanna, D.D.S., director of the pediatric dental surgery clinic and assistant professor of pediatric dentistry. “Having the hospital here enables us to do IV sedation and general anesthesia in the clinic,” something that few private practices are equipped to handle.

The new Pediatric Dental Surgery Clinic broadens the scope of dental services for young patients with special needs, formalizes hospital dental care for acutely ill and immunocompromised (hematology, oncology, and cardiothoracic) children, allies with the Child Development and Rehabilitation Center (CDRC) and the Craniofacial Disorders Clinic, and is providing new dental surgical experiences for pediatric dentistry residents and students.
 
Dental residents will provide the majority of treatment in the Pediatric Dental Surgery Clinic, said Dr. Hanna, much like dental students take the lead in patient care in the School’s pre-doctoral clinic for adults.

“Our pediatric dentistry residents are going to get good experiences here so that when they go out into the community, they have the skills and training they need to see patients with special needs and that’s one of the whole points to the clinic,” he said.

The new clinic has three treatment rooms, one for IV sedation with immediate access to pediatric recovery. A-Dec generously donated all of the equipment for the treatment rooms.  The clinic also has a dedicated operating room just down the hallway.

The Pediatric Dental Surgery Clinic replaces the former CDRC clinic on the seventh floor of Doernbecher. Though Peter Lax, D.M.D., retired June 30, the rest of the CDRC clinic staff – Kathy Vu, Sherry Lemon, M.S., R.D.H., and Mary Bruno, R.D.H., are on board to assist with the clinic, as well as patient access services specialist Howard Wicklund, and Ruchi Arora, B.D.S., assistant professor of pediatric dentistry.

“The Pediatric Surgery Clinic is an interdisciplinary effort and we look forward to many strengthened collaborations with our colleagues within OHSU and Doernbecher Children’s Hospital,” said School of Dentistry Dean Jack Clinton, D.M.D. `64.

Michael Recht, M.D., Ph.D., adjunct associate professor of pediatrics and medicine, Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, said he’s looking forward to the new collaboration.

“Getting dental residents into our hemophilia comprehensive clinics for screening every child with a bleeding disorder, so that they learn how to approach these patients safely, will improve the care for all our patients,” said Dr. Recht.
 
Young people who are acutely ill or immunocompromised require thorough screening.  Bone marrow and stem cell transplant patients need a complete dental screening before any corrective materials are implanted, cardiac patients who are to have surgery must be pre-screened before prosthetic materials are placed, and hematology/oncology patients can’t start chemotherapy and radiation without being infection-free.

“We are estimating about 40 referrals per year,” said Eneida Nemecek, M.D., pediatric bone marrow transplant director. “The new service is very accommodating to our patients and feedback from families has been very good.”

Dr. Hanna said he anticipates the new clinic will serve as a major referral center for Oregon and Southwest Washington. He said the clinic is expected to serve 50 patients a week.

“This clinic is very unique to the Portland area,” said Dr. Hanna. “With the population of patients with special needs growing, it is not only an important service, but absolutely key to our mission of educating high-quality pediatric and general dentists.”