Texas dental school opens special needs clinic

Dental Team

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio School of Dentistry has opened a special care dental clinic.

The Phil and Karen Hunke Special Care Clinic, named after San Antonio-area philanthropists, is said to be the first of its kind in South Texas and caters to individuals of all ages with intellectual, developmental, cognitive, or physical disabilities.  

The clinic has large treatment rooms with adjustable sound and lighting, including a "Zen den" to reduce anxiety. The space consists of seven dental treatment rooms and five rooms equipped for conscious sedation, being able to accommodate 40 patients daily.

Additionally, the clinic will serve the community and provide student training across various disciplines, including dentistry, dental hygiene, medicine, physician assistantship, and nursing. Furthermore, it will support community dentists and social service providers by offering referrals and sharing advancements in treatment for those with special needs.

Donations from the Hunkes, $2.3 million from the Texas Department of State Health Services Oral Health Improvement Program, and a $2 million U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration five-year grant are funding the clinic.

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