News Notes - September-October 2011

News Notes - September-October 2011

The Editors:

University of Minnesota Receives $3.5 Million from Delta Dental of Minnesota Trust to Build State's Only Hospital-Based Children's Dental Clinic.

The University of Minnesota School of Dentistry has received a $3.5 million gift from Delta Dental of Minnesota Trust to support the construction of the state’s only hospital-based pediatric dental clinic and the most advanced pediatric dental clinic in the Upper Midwest. 

The clinic, named the University of Minnesota Children’s Dental Clinic, made possible by Delta Dental of Minnesota, will be located adjacent to the new University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital on the west bank campus of the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview. The hospital opened in April of 2011, and the children’s dental clinic is anticipated to begin operation in April 2012.

“The clinic will be a regional resource for children with complex medical, developmental, and emotional needs, both on an in-patient and out-patient basis,” said Judith Buchanan, interim dean of the School of Dentistry. “It will be home to our advanced education program in pediatric dentistry and offer our dental residents a rich educational experience in an environment of coordinated care, working with pediatricians, nurses, pharmacists, therapists, and dieticians.” 

“Every dollar will be invested in bricks and mortar, and the investment will be multiplied many times over through improved oral health for children,” said Delta Dental of Minnesota Trust board chair Mike Howe. “We are very pleased to help bring this great new resource for Minnesota children to life.” 

The state-of-the-art dental clinic for children will feature 14 dental operatories designed to accommodate pediatric patients and a family member or caregiver, along with a team of pediatric dental professionals. For pediatric dental residents, the clinic will provide opportunities for bedside evaluation of hospitalized patients, as well as access to both the hospital’s pediatric operating rooms and its pediatric emergency room when children arrive unexpectedly with acute conditions. 

The clinic will also offer opportunities for interprofessional collaboration and learning in pediatric patient care, education, and research, for medical and dental residents and faculty within the University’s Academic Health Center. There will be experiences in oral assessment and primary preventive dental services for the Medical School’s pediatricians in training, as well as clinical rotations in pediatric dentistry for dental residents in the dental school’s General Practice Residency program. The clinic will also serve the state as a venue for implementing and evaluating the effectiveness of new delivery models of dental care, such as the effective integration and utilization of dental therapists in the dental practice. 

Pediatric dentists Teresa Fong Sit and Rick Baylon will co-chair the capital campaign committee charged with raising $4.5 million to build the clinic and fund its operations for the first two years. Said Dr. Fong Sit, “All kids deserve access to quality dental care. This clinic will address access to care challenges of many of the state’s children now and into the future.”

Added Dr. Baylon, “Looking ahead, we can expect the number of children seeking dental care will increase as a result of recent changes in health care reform that now mandate dental benefits for thousands more children. This underscores the importance of educating pediatric dentists, and this new clinic will help provide exceptional next-generation education and patient care.” 

The capital campaign launched in February 2010 with several gifts, including a $500,000 grant from 3M Foundation. 

MDA Introduces New Gum Disease Campaign

The Minnesota Dental Association has launched a new oral health campaign, “Healthy Gums, Healthy You”. The campaign is focused on the adult dental patient’s oral health concerns, in particular the effect of periodontal disease on overall health. A growing body of evidence continues to support the association between gum disease and diabetes, heart disease, and adverse pregnancy outcomes. This campaign, therefore, overviews what gum disease is, warning signs of the disease, the consequences of not maintaining good periodontal health, and the importance of regular dental visits.

“Healthy Gums, Healthy You” educational materials include a tri-fold brochure that focuses on the association between gum disease and other systemic diseases and offers preventive care suggestions. Brochures may be purchased through the MDA by using the order form on the opposite page or calling the MDA office at (612) 767-8400 or (800) 950-3368. To request a sample of the brochure, please contact the MDA office. In addition, there are individual fact sheets on heart disease and diabetes available on the website at which members can download and customize before printing for use in the dental office.

Please join the MDA in introducing this newest campaign to the public and educating patients about the importance of maintaining good periodontal health as a gateway to overall health and well-being.


Give Kids a Smile 2012

The Minnesota Dental Association warmly invites you to join in the tenth annual Give Kids a Smile program Friday,February 3, and Saturday, February 4,2012. This charitable outreach program brings smiles to the faces of thousands of low income children in Minnesota who might not otherwise receive dental care. Last year, the monetary value of donated services and materials reached a record level – 2.5 million dollars – provided by 2,675 volunteers in more than 200 locations. 

Whether you are a perennial program participant or a fi rst-timer, the MDA supplies all the support you need to make your efforts successful. Please watch for online registration to begin October 3 at