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New infant dental clinic experience for UIC College of Dentistry students

To increase the emphasis on preventive oral health care for infants, the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry opened its new Predoctoral Infant Dental Clinic last month.

Citing the fact that early childhood caries is the most common chronic childhood disease—five times more common than asthma—UIC officials say the clinic will enhance access to and use of dental services for children with the goal of reducing oral health disparities in underserved populations.

"Infant oral health is the foundation upon which preventive education and dental care must be built to enhance the opportunity for a lifetime free from a preventable oral disease," said Dr. Larry Salzmann, predoctoral program director in UIC's department of pediatric dentistry.

"The Infant Clinic will offer families a wide range of services, where dental students complete caries risk assessment; provide parents with anticipatory guidance; and provide oral exams, prophylaxis and fluoride, as well as dental treatment needs," said Dr. Sahar Alrayyes, predoctoral clinic director.

UIC third-year dental students and their International Dentist Degree Program counterparts will now be assigned to the new pediatric infant rotation as part of their year-long clinical pediatric experience.