A study by the American Academy of Pediatrics revealed that nearly 35 percent of children who enter foster care have oral problems.
“This is terrific because these kids would never see a dentist,” said Forestdale executive director Anstiss Agnew. “Our goal is that these kids are going to leave with healthy smiles and confidence.”
The new facility is fully equipped with portable lab tools and a Panoramic X-ray machine, all donated by NYU.
Dr. Mark Wolf, chair of the Department of Cardiology and Comprehensive Care at NYU School of Dentistry, said the new facility and well-trained employees are a necessity for foster children.
“These children are at the highest risk of dental disease of any category and they display health disease three times greater than that of the other children in our community,” Wolf said. “They really need our help.”
Dentists on staff include fourth-year NYU dental students under the supervision of experienced professors
“We hope by our students experiencing this and being a part of it, that they will have the same sense of commitment as they move out into the future,” Wolf explained.
Marcie Lebovic graduated from dental school eight years ago and is currently the lead dentist on staff.
“Forestdale is very good at trying to get them care,” Lebovic said.
Agnew and the staff at Forestdale provided a walk through of the new facility last week to show just how far the program has come in the last several months.
“Anytime we can work together to provide good quality access to dental care to our community, especially the family care at Forestdale, we are so privileged,“ said Congresswoman Grace Meng, who brought her husband Wayne Kye, also a dentist, along for the tour.