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Tufts University opens new clinic to treat people with disabilities

May 19, 2014

Worcester, Mass.—Tufts University School of Dental Medicine announced on April 30 the opening of its new dental clinic serving people with developmental and acquired disabilities.

The Tufts Dental Facility at Worcester is the eighth Tufts University dental clinic in Massachusetts that provides comprehensive oral health care for people with special needs.

"The important work of the Tufts Dental Facilities reflects the School of Dental Medicine's commitment to ensuring that diverse communities have access to excellent oral health care," said Dr. Huw F. Thomas, dean of Tufts University's dental school.

"The new clinic in Worcester will provide vital services for people with disabilities in Central Massachusetts and offer our faculty, staff and students opportunities to promote and protect the oral health of vulnerable populations."

In 2012, Tufts University researchers published a study in the Journal of the American Dental Association that found people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are more likely to have poor oral health—including periodontal disease, untreated tooth decay and missing teeth—than the general population.

The Tufts Dental Facilities is a network of clinics across the state that treats individuals with disabilities.

In all, the network treats more than 7,000 patients with disabilities each year. They are operated in partnership with the Commonwealth's Department of Developmental Services and the Department of Public Health.

The new Tufts Dental Facility at Worcester is housed in a newly renovated building owned and operated by the Seven Hills Foundation, which provides support for adults and children with disabilities.

The clinic has two dentists, three dental hygienists and one dental assistant—all with specialized training in caring for people with disabilities.

The facility also has four treatment chairs, and patients will be eligible for comprehensive oral health care, including examinations, preventive and restorative dentistry, periodontal care, endodontics, prosthetic dentistry and tooth extraction.

For more information on the Tufts Dental Facilities clinics, visit dental.tufts.edu/tdf.