Gary Burnstein Community Health Clinic

Our Vision: Everyone deserves optimal oral health

Oral Health Coalition for Adults With Disabilities – The Tri-County Dental Health program has received three mini-grants from the Michigan Oral Health Coalition to develop an Oral Health Coalition for Adults with Disabilities in Oakland and Wayne Counties. Our Coalition’s mission is to increase access to appropriate and compassionate dental care for people with disabilities. Members from the mental health and dental health communities have come together to identify and implement solutions that will overcome barriers that stand in the way of people with cognitive and developmental disabilities to receive oral health services. Some of the coalition’s activities involve improving the education and training of student dentists and hygienists, providing dental services in a variety of settings, promoting policy and regulation changes to maximize access to dental care and reducing financial barriers.

Co-Teacher Pilot Project – Many people with disabilities need a “dental home.” Dental professional students need experience working with all types of patients. Therefore, JVS Human Services, Community Living Services, Inc. and the University of Detroit Mercy’s School of Dentistry have collaborated on a project that places patients with developmental disabilities at the dental school to become regular patients of the clinic. These patients are highly valued co-teachers who provide hands-on experience for dental students. A grant from the Michigan Dental Association Foundation supports a small stipend incentive that acknowledges their efforts to enhance the education of future dentists. For the past three years, JVS Human Services also has provided a guest lecture to the class of third-year students. The expectation is that after receiving this training, dentists will graduate from school feeling comfortable and fully prepared to treat people with DD in their future dental practices.

St. Joseph Mercy Oakland – Mercy Dental Center has capacity for treating patients with disabilities in the operating room when they need general anesthesia. Many more patients can be treated at their dental center in Pontiac. Patients with disabilities will be screened to determine their needs and the best way to provide dental treatment under the SJMO General Practice Residency Program. Call 248-858-6100 for appointments.

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