Pediatric dental institute to open in Seattle

The Center for Pediatric Dentistry will open September 1 in Seattle and provide pediatric dental care, education for dentists and medical professionals, research, and policy under one roof.

Outfitted with the latest in dental equipment and practices, the institute will provide dental care and educate parents, dentists, physicians, and policymakers on infant and childhood oral health. The new facility will have the ability to handle 40,000 patient visits annually, serving children from birth to age 21, with an emphasis on early childhood (birth to age 3).

"We are seeing an alarming increase in early childhood caries. It is truly a national health crisis," said center director Joel Berg in a press release. "This trend, coupled with a shortage of pediatric dentists, educational facilities, and integrated policy approach, were the primary reason and driving force behind the formation of the center. In King County alone there is a four-month wait for a child needing oral surgery to repair many teeth."

The center is a joint partnership between the University of Washington, Seattle Children's, Washington Dental Service, and its foundation. It is located in the newly renovated 28,000-sq-ft Washington Dental Service building for Early Childhood Oral Health.

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