Delta Dental Foundation Grant Brings a “SMILE” to People with Special Needs
January 21, 2020, Peapack, NJ — People with special needs who need great dental care are smiling thanks to a generous $45,000 SMILE grant award from the Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation. The SMILE grant will help Matheny’s Dental Center continue its long tradition of comprehensive, safe and effective dental care for individuals with medically complex developmental disabilities.
What makes Matheny’s Dental Clinic unique? Matheny has the equipment, space and expertise to deliver high-quality dental care to individuals with special needs. Meeting the oral health care needs of this population can be difficult. Associated conditions such as dysphagia impact oral health, and behavioral challenges are common among those with developmental disabilities. The Delta Dental SMILE grant will allow Matheny to continue offering a designated PCA (Personal Care Assistant)/Transporter to bring patients to procedures in a safe, timely manner and keep them informed and calm during delivery of care. The grant will also allow Matheny to upgrade its Imaging Plate System to improve the quality and efficiency of dental imaging, and a new Piezo Scaler for more effective cleaning, disease prevention and treatment. The more precise, less invasive and quieter equipment will positively impact patients with sensory issues.
Dr. Melanie Hunt and Dr. Joseph Maggio are Matheny’s full-time dentists who have many years of experience in treating and caring for this special population. Dr. Hunt said, “We are proud of the services we offer because we take a holistic approach to dental medicine. We offer transportation, a dedicated Personal Care Assistant, knowledgeable staff and medications; but most importantly, we ensure the safety and comfort of the patient during their dental visit.”
The Dental Center at Matheny has been operating since 2001 thanks to the generous support of Delta Dental of New Jersey. Matheny’s Dental Center has treated thousands of patients with special needs and has been successful in improving oral healthcare for this vulnerable population.
“Matheny remains committed to providing quality dental care to the developmentally disabled and as such is grateful for the partnerships in the community that have allowed us to continue our mission and enhance our services to meet the needs of those we serve,” says Vincent Barba, MD, FACP, FHM, CPPS, Matheny Vice President – Patient Care and Safety, Chief Medical Officer & Safety Officer.
Delta Dental of New Jersey, the state’s largest dental coverage provider, began offering dental programs in 1969. Delta Dental of New Jersey now provides or administers dental coverage to more than 1.7 million people in New Jersey and Connecticut. Each year, the Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation awards nearly $1 million in grants in New Jersey and Connecticut to provide dental care to underserved children, developmentally disabled persons, seniors and veterans.
About Matheny: Matheny’s mission is to provide exceptional care and an optimal quality of life for children and adults with special needs and medically complex developmental disabilities. Matheny is a 501c3 nonprofit organization and is headquartered in Somerset County. It was founded in 1946 after Walter and Marguerite Matheny’s son, Chuck, was born with cerebral palsy (CP) into a world ill-equipped to care for children with special needs. Matheny patients have a diverse range of medical conditions such as Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, Lesch-Nyhan Disease (LND) and a wide range of other rare diseases including Rett syndrome, Angelman syndrome, Cornelia De Lange syndrome, Wolf-Hirshorn syndrome and 4Q Deletion syndrome. For more information, visit https://testing.artsaccessprogram.org or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram: @mathenymedical.