November 28, 2016
The Pacific Center for Special Care at University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry has received a $400,000 grant from the North Bay Regional Center (NBRC). The funding will support the use of the Pacific Center's "Virtual Dental Home" system throughout Sonoma, Napa and Solano counties to provide diagnostic services, and prevention and early intervention care for people with complex developmental, medical and physical conditions.
An innovative new model for delivering dental care using teledentistry technology, the Virtual Dental Home system connects a dentist in the dental office with licensed allied dental professionals working with underserved populations. People receive preventative and simple therapeutic services in community settings. The system brings much-needed services to individuals who might otherwise receive no care.
In a six-year pilot program, the Pacific Center has implemented the Virtual Dental Home system in 50 California Head Start preschools, elementary schools, community centers, residential care facilities for people with disabilities, senior centers and nursing homes. The Pacific Center team is now working with colleagues in Oregon, Hawaii and Colorado to replicate the system.
NBRC is one of 21 regional centers for people with developmental disabilities in California. Regional centers are nonprofit private corporations that contract with the California Department of Developmental Services to provide or coordinate services and supports for individuals with developmental disabilities. Located throughout the state, the regional centers provide a local resource to help find and access the many services available to individuals and their families.
"Our hope is to significantly reduce the number of people with developmental disabilities in the North Bay who need to have dental procedures performed using sedation and general anesthesia," said Dr. Paul Glassman, director of the Pacific Center for Special Care. "Emphasizing preventive procedures in residential and community settings will improve the health of the individuals served in this system, lower financial and other costs, and support people living in community settings."
The Pacific Center for Special Care is committed to improving the oral health of underserved people throughout California and nationally. In addition to creating best-practice models, it advocates for improved access to dental care for anyone who faces challenges to receiving oral health services through the traditional oral health care system. These include people who have difficulty maintaining good oral health or accessing oral health services because of medical, physical, social, economic or geographic conditions.
The center is located in San Francisco as part of University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry.
To learn more about the Virtual Dental Home and the Pacific Center for Special Care's other innovative approaches to improving the healthcare needs of underserved people, visit http://dental.pacific.edu/departments-and-groups/pacific-center-for-special-care.
To learn more about the services and programs of the NBRC, visit http://nbrc.net.