Harvard School of Dental Medicine emphasizes importance of saving natural teeth
BOSTON, U.S.: Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM) has recently collaborated with the American Association of Endodontists (AAE), Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine and Tufts University School of Dental Medicine to highlight the importance of saving teeth. Together, the dental schools provided more than 50 endodontic treatments on Teeth Worth Saving Day to patients in need in the Boston area.
During Teeth Worth Saving Day, patients were prescreened and pre-qualified. HSDM worked closely with its colleagues at the Charles River Community Health center to identify patients in need of dental care.
The endodontic treatments provided by the Boston-based dental schools totaled over $59,000 (€53,562) in value. The effort was part of a contest sponsored by the AAE and focused on saving well-known natural landmarks and natural teeth. Boston’s Charles River Esplanade was voted the landmark most worth saving in the U.S., receiving a large donation from the AAE. In addition, the AAE will be providing free endodontic services to those in need in the city of Boston.
“This was a great experience to learn about patient needs from the community clinic. It was eye-opening to see that so many savable teeth would have otherwise been planned for extraction because of the lack of insurance coverage for these procedures,” said Dr. Jennifer L. Gibbs, assistant professor and director of the Division of Endodontics in the Department of Restorative Dentistry and Biomaterials Sciences at HSDM. “I plan to work with our community clinic to see what else we can do to continue to better serve this population,” she added.
The event took place in the Harvard Dental Center. A staff of six HSDM residents, two faculty members, and more than ten dental students and first-year resident volunteers performed or assisted with 17 treatments within 6 hours. Procedures included root canal therapy, retreatment, vital pulp therapy and some restorative work.
“We’re thrilled to give back to the city of Boston and to collaborate with the endodontics departments of renowned dental schools in the area,” said Dr. Keith V. Krell, president of the AAE. “We are grateful for the schools’ generosity,” he concluded.