“The center will greatly improve our ability to serve the children in need of dental care under general anesthesia within an acceptable timeframe,” said Dr. Marcio da Fonseca, Chicago Dental Society Foundation professor and head of the department of pediatric dentistry, in a news release. Because of the large volume of patients, he added, many often wait months to get an appointment.
“Once the center is fully operational, we hope that the wait time will be only a few weeks after the child’s initial appointment,” Dr. da Fonseca said. “That is crucial to improve the quality of life of the child and the family.”
The center includes four operatories for oral surgery procedures and two general anesthesia suites for pediatric dental care. The center’s interprofessional teams consist of pediatric and oral surgery dental faculty and residents, anesthesiologists, a social worker, auxiliary staff, and a nurse, among others. The outpatient care center is shared with the pediatric dentistry and oral and maxillofacial surgery departments and represents a collaboration to support the communities seeking complex oral health care at UIC.
According to UIC, the center will serve healthy children at low risk of complications. Patients with complex medical issues needing advanced medical support for their dental treatment under general anesthesia will continue to be treated in the University of Illinois Hospital’s main operating room.