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 Community OutreachCOHDY     April 24, 2014  

Comprehensive Oral Healthcare for Disabled Youth

"We all smile in the same language"

Our Comprehensive Oral Health for Disabled Youth (COHDY) Program began in 1996 by Betty Zembrowski, RDH. The program is designed for children who have medical or physical disabilities.

Oral health is essential for children with special needs because:

  • Disabilities can make brushing and flossing difficult;
  • Disabilities can make swallowing and chewing difficult;
  • Medications prescribed to control a disease can cause dry mouth, tooth discoloration, bleeding and/or swelling of the gums;
  • Tooth decay may be present between crowded or misaligned teeth; and
  • Poor eating habits may compromise good oral health.

COHDY provides comprehensive and specialized dental care including cleanings, hygiene instruction, restorative treatment and dietary counseling. Specialized dental care includes:

  • A gentle approach to calm anxious patients;
  • Frequent visit scheduling;
  • Update parents and patient with newest dental treatment and procedures;
  • Oral hygiene instructions;
  • Dietary assessment; and
  • Dental counseling

Each child’s needs are taken into consideration for a customized treatment plan. Dentists, hygienists, physicians, nurse practitioners, and the child’s caregivers provide input into the treatment plan to be sure all oral health needs are met.

Over 4,000 children and young adults have benefited from this program.

Information

For more information about the COHDY program, or to volunteer in this program, please call Cheryl DiVita, RDH, at 716-878-7293, or email our Community Outreach Coordinator, Debbie Licata.


Links

Developmentally Disabled Information

Developmental Disabilities Alliance of Western New York

Aspire

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The UB Smile Team promotes dental education and provides free oral health care in areas of the world that lack adequate access to treatment. 

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Since 1997 the School of Dental Medicine has operated a mobile dental unit (MDU) serving Chautauqua County in Western New York. The MDU averages approximately 3,100 patient visits per year. 

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Buffalo Outreach and Community Assistance (BOCA) is a SDM organization administered by dental students and dedicated to providing care to underserved areas. Students and faculty deliver much needed dental treatment to such locations as Appalachia, Belize, Dominican Republic, Ghana, Guatemala, Mexico and Vietnam and as well as in the Buffalo area.

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Each year, volunteers guide hundreds of children through the award-winning Teddy Bear Clinic and to dental cleanings and treatment at the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine's annual "Give Kids a Smile Day."

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EDUCATION >

As a proud member of the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU), the University at Buffalo is committed to discovery, both basic and applied research, development and scholarship particularly related to oral health and disease.

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Established in 1892, the School of Dental Medicine continues to educate general practitioners, specialists and biomedical scientists in the art and science of oral health through our comprehensive accredited programs.

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The tradition of practicing dentists taking time to teach is as old as dentistry itself; the central role of practitioners as faculty is as old as the earliest organized dental schools.

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