The University of Minnesota's School of Dentistry has received a major gift toward its campaign to build the state's first hospital-based pediatric dental clinic. Delta Dental of Minnesota Trust has given $3.5 million to the proposed clinic scheduled to open in April of 2012.
The clinic will be located in a specialty medical building that's connected to the new Amplatz Children's Hospital on the university's west bank campus.
Judith Buchanan, interim dean of the School of Dentistry, says the new clinic will allow bedside evaluation of hospitalized patients and better access to routine care for all kids.
"One of the biggest problems across the state of Minnesota is access to oral health care. So this is definitely one way that we can make it easier for especially sick pediatric patients to get care for their oral health," she said.
Buchanan says the project is design to bring the dental community to the patients.
"This area where we will be located has many pediatric specialty clinics. This is convenient for families that have very sick children," she said. "So we are going to where they are, rather than making them come to where we are."
The Delta Dental donation, along with a $500,000 grant from 3M Foundation, puts the clinic close to its $4.5 million fundraising goal.