In September, Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) announced that its Dental Service would close at the end of the year due to financial pressures amplified by the pandemic. Now, the Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM) will reopen the former HUHS dental practice.
HSDM is the only graduate school at Harvard to offer direct patient care. It already operates dental practices within the Harvard Dental Center in the Longwood Medical Area.
Beginning in February 2021, HSDM will operate the Harvard Dental Center-Cambridge. It will serve patients of the former HUHS practice and welcome new patients from the surrounding community. Providers and staff previously employed by the HUHS Dental Service are expected to continue working at the practice.
“The HUHS Dental Service was well regarded by its patients and served many members of the Harvard community including employees, students, and retirees for more than 50 years,” said HSDM dean Dr. William V. Giannobile.
“I am delighted that we will be able to offer oral healthcare to these patients and welcome new patients in Cambridge and the surrounding communities,” Giannobile said.
“This is a unique opportunity for us to fill a critical gap in care at a time when continuity of oral healthcare and maintaining overall health is so vital. It is also very much at the heart of HSDM’s clinical and educational mission,” he said.
Under HSDM’s direction, the former HUHS clinic will expand its services to include oral surgery, implant dentistry, orthodontics, prosthodontics, and other previously unavailable specialties. The clinic also will accept additional insurance plans to broaden access to the greater Cambridge community.
“We are incredibly grateful to our dental patients, past and present, who have trusted us with their care for more than 50 years, and we are thrilled that HSDM will continue to provide exemplary services to our community,” said Harvard University Health Services executive director Giang T. Nguyen.
The practice will offer HSDM residents, who are dentists in Advanced Graduate Education programs, additional opportunities for patient care and specialty training in Cambridge under the supervision of HSDM faculty.
“With a proud history of more than 150 years of excellence in dental education, I’m confident that we are well positioned to bring a high level of care and expertise that has always been associated with our school and its mission,” Giannobile said.
“Our faculty, staff, and residents have shown great dedication in providing care in our practices throughout the pandemic, and we look forward to this exciting new endeavor,” he said.