The New York University (NYU) College of Dentistry has opened a new dental care practice in Downtown Brooklyn’s City Point. The practice brings high-quality, low-cost dental care for adults and children to the Brooklyn community and its surrounding area, NYU Dentistry said, and provides a unique training opportunity for advanced dental students.
“NYU Dentistry Brooklyn Patient Care marks the first time in the 155-year of NYU College of Dentistry that we have opened a patient care and education facility outside of Manhattan,” said Charles N. Bertolami, the Herman Robert Fox Dean of NYU Dentistry. “However, we see it as an extension of our longstanding commitment to caring for Brooklyn residents, especially those who otherwise would not be able to access dental care.”
NYU Dentistry Brooklyn Patient Care provides comprehensive patient care including general dentistry, pediatric dentistry, orthodontics, endodontics, periodontics, and implant dentistry. The practice, which will see 25,000 to 30,000 patients each year, is staffed by NYU Dentistry faculty and, going forward, will include advanced dental students.
Like NYU Dentistry’s main facility at 345 East 24th Street and First Avenue in Manhattan, which cares for about 75,000 New Yorkers per year, NYU Dentistry Brooklyn Patient Care offers services at reduced cost and accepts Medicaid.
The practice is located in a 15,000-square-foot leased space in City Point, a mixed-use commercial and residential complex in Downtown Brooklyn. City Point is near 12 subway lines and five bus stops, making it easily accessible to residents throughout Brooklyn and Staten Island, NYU Dentistry said.
“When I visited the NYU College of Dentistry Oral Health Center for People with Disabilities last year, I was struck by their commitment to serving patients who often lack access to these vital services. The new facility at City Point will extend and deepen that mission, providing much needed dental services to Brooklynites,” said Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough president.
“The events of this year have underscored the profound need for equitable access to all forms of healthcare and the urgent task of closing the vast disparities that currently exist in that access. NYU College of Dentistry is pointing the way forward for all healthcare institutions, and I thank them for their pioneering example,” said Adams.
“I am thrilled that NYU is opening a new dental clinic right here in Brooklyn. Dental health is a social and economic justice issue, because too few people get the dental care that they need,” said New York State Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon.
“This new practice will help address dental care access inequities by coupling students and faculty together to provide the public with high-quality, low-cost care. NYU’s new model teaching program will also create a group of well-trained dental professionals and ensure a better experience for patients,” Simon said.
NYU Dentistry’s new practice is one of several illustrations of NYU’s growing commitment to the Brooklyn community, the school said,
Prior to establishing NYU Dentistry Brooklyn Patient Care, NYU dental faculty and students were already screening and providing health promotion services to more than a thousand children, adults, and seniors annually at 30 community-based sites in Brooklyn and treating about 700 children and seniors about the Smiling Faces, Going Places dental van at 14 Brooklyn sites.
NYU Dentistry Brooklyn Patient Care will introduce an innovative mentor-protégé model of dental education that benefits patients, students, and faculty alike, the school said. A faculty member will mentor a small group of advanced dental students, and faculty and students will work side by side to treat patients with faculty serving as hands-on, active teachers.
In June 2019, NYU Dentistry launched a four-month pilot program to test this model and found it led to optimal learning, teaching, and patient care experiences. Students benefitted from working so closely alongside faculty and getting real-time feedback, noting that the model provided an enhanced environment where they could build confidence and competence in their clinical skills, the school said.
The mentor-protégé model also increased efficiency, and it was more like a private practice than a dental school clinic as well, NY Dentistry said. Faculty and students were able to see at least three times as many patients as are typically seen in the dental school clinic, which translated to more efficient appointments and saving patients’ time.
NYU Dentistry Brooklyn Patient Care will introduce the mentor-protégé model by adding student rotations once the practice has acquired a patient roster sufficient to provide the rich educational experiences that align with the goals of the pilot program and the accrediting body, NYU Dentistry said.
Students and faculty will work together in small groups of no more than three students to one faculty member to provide patient care. The faculty member will be designated as the patient’s dentist, creating continuity of care for patients as they return to the practice for future appointments.
“Through this model, we will empower students and faculty to work together as a true team, while helping students learn how to run a dental practice in a fast-paced, real-world environment,” said Bertolami.