Dental Clinic Opens for Medically Complex and Disabled Patients

Dentistry Today


The Eastman Institute for Oral Health at UR Medicine has opened a multimillion-dollar dental clinic designed for adults with medically complex conditions and intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The seven-room Specialty Care clinic will provide dentists who are qualified to treat these patients as well as facilities that can accommodate them.  

Dentists at the clinic will work closely with their patients’ physicians to provide comprehensive care. The facilities include large treatment rooms, an elevator to accommodate stretchers and wheelchairs, a life for patients who are wheelchair-bound, a bariatric chair, and other features to help ease anxiety and provide a comforting experience.

The Specialty Care clinic will see patients with varying complex conditions including geriatric, pregnant, and bariatric patients, in addition to those with mild developmental disabilities. Patients with child onset conditions such as cystic fibrosis, severe developmental disabilities, or spina bifida as well as those patients on a ventilator are seen at the Complex Care Center. Patients who are hospitalized or medically fragile or who require treatment in the operating room are seen at the institute’s facilities at the hospital. 

“This three-tier approach provides patients with a team of doctors to focus on the patient’s individual needs,” said Eli Eliav, DMD, PhD, director of the Eastman Institute for Oral Health. “Dentists, dental specialists, and physicians, nurses, and others work closely together to provide the patient with optimal care and allows us to use resources and expertise throughout the university.”

Children with medically complex conditions are seen by pediatric dentists at Eastman’s various locations and SMILEmobiles. Wayne Lipschitz, DDS, professor of clinical dentistry, has more than 20 years of experience in treating patients with IDD and will be director of the Specialty Care clinic.

The new clinic will help meet the increasing demand for patients, many who travel from throughout New York and surrounding states to receive specialty care at Eastman, the institute says. The Specialty Care clinic also serves as a setting for educating the next generation of dentists and dental specialists.

“We’re addressing the significant shortage of qualified dentists to treat patients with medically complex conditions and intellectual and developmental disabilities through our advanced training programs,” said Eliav. “Our graduates carry on the legacy of our founder George Eastman to treat the underserved with no compromise to quality of care.”

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