UB to hold ribbon cutting for new 40-foot-long mobile dental clinic

New mobile clinic will help remove barriers to care for people with disabilities, people who are homeless and other underserved populations in WNY

BUFFALO, N.Y. – The University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony on Sept. 14 to unveil a new, 40-foot-long mobile dental unit, the second in its fleet of traveling clinics that will expand dental care to thousands of people in Western New York. 

Operated through the UB S-Miles to Go, the new mobile dental unit is equipped with two dental chairs, a state-of-the-art panoramic X-ray unit, digital radiography, a sterilization center, wheelchair lift and electronic health record system. 

The unit will strengthen the school’s commitment to improving the health and well-being of Western New York’s most vulnerable by helping remove barriers to oral health care for underserved populations, including older adults, people with disabilities and people who are homeless.

When: The ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 14, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Where: The Tower Lot next to Squire Hall on the UB South Campus. Media are invited to attend. For directions, visit an online map of the South Campus.

On-site contact: Marcene Robinson, university communications, marcener@buffalo.edu.  

“Our school is well known for its longstanding excellence in student education and research. What most people don’t know is that over the years we have also developed a strength in community and global outreach activities, setting our school apart from other institutions in the country,” says Stefan Ruhl, DDS, PhD, interim dean and professor of the UB School of Dental Medicine.

“We are extremely grateful to the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation and our other sponsors for enabling us to put our second mobile dental unit on the road,” he says. “We realize that there is more need out there in Western New York, and we are all committed to the challenge of providing dental services to the underserved in the area.” 

The purchase and operation of the mobile clinic is made possible through the support of several donors, including a $780,000 grant from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation. Additional sponsors include Delta Dental Community Care Foundation, Henry Schein Cares Foundation, M&T Charitable Foundation, Fidelis Care and the James H. Cummings Foundation.

“Good oral health is the gateway to good overall health, so we are pleased to support UB S-Miles to Go in its efforts to ensure that underserved populations have access to high-quality services. The new mobile unit can reduce the incidence of preventable dental problems and costly dental emergencies, and improve overall health for those across Western New York,” says John Craik, program officer at the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation. 

UB S-Miles to Go offers a full range of educational and oral health care services, including exams, cleanings, fillings, sealants, fluoride treatments and extractions. The program has served Western New York communities for over 20 years, providing more than 45,000 patient visits at 31 different sites. 

The mobile dental units are staffed by UB dental faculty, staff and students. The program also provides students with experiential learning opportunities caring for vulnerable populations in the region and aims to encourage them to continue working in underserved areas throughout their careers.

The program recently engaged in a partnership with Arc GLOW to utilize the new mobile dental unit to increase the delivery of critical dental treatment to the more than 2,000 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities served by the organization in Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties. Through another partnership with the Buffalo City Mission, the UB S-Miles to Go program will provide nearly 100 days of free dental care on the mobile clinic to individuals who are homeless.

“Engaging with medical primary care workers and social workers within these partnering agencies will greatly assist us in managing and preventing dental disease,” says Paula Fischer, director of school-based dental programs in the School of Dental Medicine.

UB S-Miles to Go’s first mobile dental unit will continue to service veterans and underserved children and families, primarily in Chautauqua County.

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