Oral Health Center for People with Disabilities Helps New Yorkers Get Needed Care


Paul Katz: It was really difficult. One dentist, we
took him for an exam and the the dentist looked at him and said, ‘we just, I
just can’t do this.’ He’s never had a great cleaning until he came here. Dental hygenist: Hi, I’m going to open your mouth, ok? Paul: The difference is that when you go to a place that’s not trained for Alex, you’re given a band-aid. But here you’re given the best. Rebecca David: We’re at NYU College of Dentistry’s
Oral Health Center for People with Disabilities, and here we see patients
for their dental health care needs that have all types of disabilities: cognitive
or intellectual disabilities as well as physical. Rebecca: OK, you ready to come back and get your teeth checked? Paul: Let’s go, buddy. Let’s go get your teeth checked. Janice Katz: OK, who are you?
Alex Katz: Alex Katz Janice: Alex Katz. I am Alex’s mom Janice Katz. Paul: I’m Paul Katz, Alex’s dad. Janice: Alex has autism
and he has a rare autoimmune disorder called uveitis that attacks his eyes. Paul: Alex wouldn’t be treated like a typical person if he wasn’t in this clinic. And that’s the big difference, because we’re told, ‘this is what could be done.’ ‘This is the best thing to do.’ Not, ‘this is what we would do because he’s disabled.’ And then we have the option of deciding whether to do it or not. But we’re given the option because we’re here. That makes a very big difference. Rebecca: My name is Rebecca David, I’m a fourth year dental student. All third year and fourth year dental
students rotate through the center. It’s helped me become more
confident in treating people with disabilities, so I really appreciate that
about this rotation and this opportunity. Paul: These dentists will go into the
community and they’ll be prepared in their private practices to take care of
people like Alex. This is needed everywhere. Janice: Yeah, people will be a little bit
more compassionate and understanding toward people who have disabilities and not to
be afraid. Alex deserves to have the same care like
everyone else and people should be a little bit kinder and a little bit more
knowledgeable.

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