Delta Dental of New Jersey (DDNJ) has joined with the New Jersey Dental Association (NJDA) and Special Olympics of New Jersey (SONJ) in launching a new web-based program to support families and children with special needs.
Delta Dental of New Jersey (DDNJ) has joined with the New Jersey Dental Association (NJDA) and Special Olympics of New Jersey (SONJ) in launching a new web-based program to support families and children with special needs. The new website provides a continuously updated list of dentists who provide dental care to people with disabilities.
“Providing dental care to those with disabilities requires special expertise, which can create challenges for parents and patients in finding dental care professionals with the right skill set,” stated Dr. Keith Libou, Chief Clinical Officer of DDNJ. “Providing access to dental care for patients with cognitive and physical disabilities is an important part of Delta Dental of New Jersey’s mission, and we want to ensure that these patients know where they can go to receive dental care. With our long-standing partners, we believe this information will serve as a critical resource and help facilitate care for those in need of care.”
This listing is hosted on the New Jersey Dental Association website. It includes a robust list of 50 dental care professionals and services that will be continuously updated as the NJDA continues to solicit more dentists to be added. Practicing dentists can opt-in to the directory through an online form: https://www.njda.org/special-needs-practitioner-form.
The NJDA, DDNJ, and SONJ actively provided information to families and promoted the new resource during the SONJ Summer Games. NJDA provided SONJ with printed postcards that include a QR code for the dental directory, which were distributed during this year’s Summer Games. DDNJ has actively supported SONJ for more than 30 years and recently raised $116,000 for athletes during its 33rd Annual Golf Classic. Delta Dental’s philanthropic arm, the Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation also supports SONJ’s dental care program, Special Smiles through a $50,000 SMILE Grant. Special Smiles provides no-cost dental care to thousands of athletes.
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease is common in people with developmental disabilities, and difficulty performing effective brushing and flossing may be an obstacle to successful treatment and outcomes. People with disabilities may need extra help to achieve and maintain good health, which includes oral health.
“Early intervention and treatment are critical for stronger and healthier smiles, yet both are often challenging for people with intellectual disabilities due to not knowing where to turn for dental care,” stated Reva Brennan, Chief Executive Officer of NJDA. “Through this program, we seek to proactively support families and their children by providing greater access to dental care that meets their unique healthcare needs.”
Those looking for a dentist who treats those with disabilities can visit here: https://www.njda.org/for-the-public/find-a-dentist/special-olympic-athlete-provider-list. And, practicing dentists can sign up to be added to the directory through an online form: https://www.njda.org/special-needs-practitioner-form.