MESA, Ariz. — A.T. Still University of Health Sciences (ATSU) has announced the opening of its Advanced Care Clinic. The 10,600-square-foot oral health care facility is Arizona’s first to offer the expertise and equipment necessary to treat patients with complex dental needs, including patients with medical conditions such as cancer, hemophilia and kidney disease. The clinic, which is expected to treat 7,500 people in its first year and began seeing patients in July, also specializes in comprehensive oral healthcare for patients whose physical and developmental disabilities require dentists with advanced training.
Dr. Maureen Romer, associate dean of post-doctoral education at ATSU’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ATSU-ASDOH) – ?Arizona’s first dental school, founded in 2003 – directs the clinic, which the school operates. A nationally known expert in special care dentistry, Dr. Romer is a past president of the Special Care Dentistry Association and has earned the association’s highest level of recognition, Diplomate. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Dentistry for Persons with Disabilities.
“ATSU’s Advanced Care Clinic fills a major gap in Arizona’s oral healthcare needs,” said Dr. Romer. “Until now, some residents with complex medical situations and special needs had to go outside the state to get the care they required, while others got no care at all. In opening this facility, A.T. Still University has reaffirmed its commitment to oral health as an integral part of overall health, as well as its determination to provide the highest quality of care to society’s most vulnerable.”
In addition to offering dental care to patients with cancer, hemophilia, kidney disease, organ transplants and other highly complex medical conditions, the clinic treats patients, including those with disabilities, whose general dental needs are complicated and require a team of dental specialists.
The new clinic has been outfitted with over $1 million in state-of-the-art equipment and technology, including 3D imaging. There are five dental operating suites including one designed for patients weighing more than 350 pounds. Extra-wide doorways ease access by power wheelchairs, while reception and consultation areas are sized to accommodate several power chairs at once.
In addition to serving as an out-patient dental facility, the clinic will be a training center in special care dentistry for ATSU-ASDOH students. Supervised by faculty members, third- and fourth-year dental students will spend time treating clinic patients alongside residents in the school’s Advanced Education in General Dentistry program.
(In keeping with ATSU’s mission to care for America’s underserved populations, ATSU-ASDOH students devote a majority of their third year working with Arizona citizens at the school’s two reduced-cost clinics—one on the Mesa campus and the other in Glendale. Fourth-year students spend a full semester embedded at community health centers across the United States.)
ATSU’s dental and Advanced Care clinics accept most insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid, and offers reduced-fee services.