Understanding the integral interrelationship between systemic health and oral health, the Department of Dentistry has expanded its efforts to improve the overall health of its patient population. The Department provided in excess of 94,000 visits in 2015 at six convenient locations across the Bronx. Its faculty and residents are also participating in a five-year Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant focusing on the key role of good oral health in maintaining their patients’ overall health and wellness. A unique component of this effort is the incorporation of Nutrition Education into the dental visit. Additionally, dental residents are receiving training in leadership roles in bringing oral health care to underserved populations.
Dr. Paul Gates is continually striving to expand services in response to the growing dental needs of the Bronx community, both in terms of access to care and workforce diversity. The Dental Department’s main clinical site, 1775 Grand Concourse, located one block north of the hospital’s Concourse Division, has 39 dental treatment rooms. It includes adult, pediatric, orthodontic, and oral surgery services, with expanded registration and waiting areas. The facility features 14 adult treatment rooms; an Oral and Maxillofacial suite that includes seven fully equipped dental surgery rooms, with an expanded recovery area and dedicated nurses’ station; eight orthodontic treatment areas; and 10 pediatric suites equipped with state-of-the-art chairs that have a child friendly design.
In addition to the main location, the BronxCare at Third Avenue practice and the practices at the BronxCare Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Health Center, BronxCare Medical and Dental at Poe, BronxCare Ogden Family Medical and Dental, and BronxCare Special Care Center are providing comprehensive oral health services.
Dentistry has evolved from a semi-annual visit to the dentist for a cleaning and check-up to being recognized as a contributing factor reflecting an individual’s systemic health. With dental related illness among the most common causes of ER visits, the Department of Dentistry’s clinical sites are prepared for urgent and non-urgent care. These sites have the most advanced equipment, including an I-CAT imaging unit that provides high definition 3D diagnostic images for ultimate treatment efficiency; E4D CAD/CAM technology that enables the preparation of crowns at chair side, thereby saving time and cost; and the I-Tero Cadent digital impression scanner for prosthetic dentistry.
For adult patients, a wide range of services are available at all dental practice locations. Endodontic, periodontic, orthodontic, and restorative procedures, including crowns and bridges, root canals, treatment of gum disease, and dentures are provided. The Oral and Maxillofacial surgery specialists in the department are widely acknowledged for their expertise in all types of dental surgery, from tooth extractions under IV sedation and emergency treatment of facial injuries to innovative implant procedures. Cosmetic dentistry, including tooth whitening, bonding, and veneers, is brightening patient smiles. Pediatric dentists are successfully establishing the idea of a “dental home,” beginning at age one, to treat oral health problems in children. Orthodontists are also placing aesthetically pleasing braces to ensure the best tooth alignment. There are many treatment options available for children with complex dental problems, including oral rehabilitation under general anesthesia and conscious sedation office visits.
Securing grant funding continues to be a priority for Dr. Gates. He recently completed a unique five year HRSA/Dental Faculty Development Grant for dental residents and attendings. The Ryan White Dental Reimbursement Grant is also providing important assistance in addressing the oral health needs of patients with HIV/AIDS. Another five-year HRSA grant will provide dental residents with leadership training. It will focus on interprofessional training and interface with the Fine-N-Fit adolescent obesity program led by Dr. Cynthia Lewis, Chief, Adolescent Medicine, Pediatrics, in providing nutrition counseling, in conjunction with the renowned chef, Amy Chaplin.
BronxCare Health System’s General Practice, Pediatric Dental, and Orthodontic residencies are nationally recognized for their outstanding dedication to serving the underserved population. The Department is also nationally recognized for its expertise in providing training for underrepresented minorities.
"None of our accomplishments would be possible without the outstanding residents, the tremendous clinical staff, the incredible administrative leadership, and the remarkable attending faculty, who all combine to care for our incredible patient population.”