Patients at Penn Dental Medicine who need a single missing tooth replaced or who need a more stable solution for their lower dentures now can receive care at greatly reduced fees due to a grant-supported implant program. The initiative was developed to provide a service to the school’s patient population while enhancing students’ experience with restorative cases involving interdisciplinary care and collaboration.
“Penn Dental Medicine is a safety net dental health provider for metropolitan Philadelphia and beyond,” said Markus Blatz, DMD, PhD, chair of the Department of Preventive & Restorative Sciences. “Offering these procedures at such reduced fees can greatly impact the quality of life for the patients we serve while also providing a valuable educational experience for our students.”
The program serves patients of the school’s clinics who present with a missing tooth and are candidates for a single-tooth implant as well as those individuals getting complete dentures or with existing dentures from the school who are interested in and are candidates for converting mandibular dentures to implant-supported removable overdentures.
Both aspects of the program involve collaboration in treatment planning and patient care between the school’s predoctoral DMD students and postgraduate students in close supervision by faculty. Patients coming to the school’s clinics will be evaluated to determine if their dental care needs and oral health would benefit from these programs.
“We are providing access to treatment modalities that patients otherwise may be unable to afford,” said Blatz. “At the same time, we see this as a great learning experience for both our predoctoral and postgraduate students, who work together to plan and manage these cases.”