Partnership Provides Dental Care for NYC Foster Children

Dentistry Today


A partnership between the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) and the New York University (NYU) College of Dentistry, has now provided dental care for 100 children in foster care via dental screenings onsite at the Nicholas Scoppetta Children’s Center. 

“Today’s ACS is committed to enhancing the lives of the children we serve, and our partnership with NYU College of Dentistry is just one more way that we’re providing the most comprehensive care to children in New York City,” said ACS commissioner David A. Hansell.

“I’m thrilled that, in just a few months, we’ve been able to provide 100 children in foster care with high-quality dental services and education. This is an exciting milestone, and I look forward to serving hundreds more,” Hansell said.

Twice a week, NYU College of Dentistry students provide on-site education and care to youth at the Nicholas Scoppetta Children’s Center. They perform full dental exams and provide fluoride treatment. Children who need cleanings, fillings, braces, or other treatment are scheduled for follow-up visits at the NYU College of Dentistry, a few blocks from the Children’s Center. 

“On-site dental care and education is another example of the comprehensive services offered at the Children’s Center, where we work to provide a safe and child-friendly environment,” said Dr. Angel V. Mendoza, ACS agency medical director.

“This includes mitigating the effects of acute trauma while caring for their medical, social, emotional, and physical needs and concurrently providing children with a smooth transition to placement,” said Mendoza.

As the most common chronic childhood disease, dental caries occurs five times more often than asthma and seven times more often than hay fever, the school reports. Children in poverty experience twice the caries rate as those who aren’t poor and are four times more likely to be untreated for these issues.

“NYU College of Dentistry is pleased to partner with ACS to provide New York City Children with much needed oral healthcare services,” said Andrew Schenkel, DMD, MS, director of community-based dental education and assistant chair of the Department of Cariology and Comprehensive Care at the College of Dentistry. 

“Studies conducted at NYU Dentistry have shown that when children lose the family structure that is needed to help manage their diet, brushing, and routine dental care, it affects their oral health, including an increase in tooth decay. We have demonstrated through this program that we can significantly improve oral health for this vulnerable group of children,” said Schenkel.

The Nicholas Scoppetta Children’s Center is a child-friendly facility that operates 24 hours a day, temporarily housing children and youth who are awaiting foster care placement.

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