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Gift will help train dental students for pediatric care in new clinic

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The College of Dentistry received a $250,000 donation from Delta Dental of Illinois to help create a new pediatric clinic to train predoctoral dental students.

The new 2,500 square foot, 14-chair clinic will feature new sedation and operating areas and digital radiography, with facilities for special needs populations, said Indru Punwani, professor and head of pediatric dentistry.

“The current facilities were designed for the early 1970s,” Punwani said. “Today we are seeing disease patterns in increasingly younger patients, so care of 2- and 3-year-olds requires privacy and soundproofing the old clinic does not have. One child crying can cause a ripple effect in other patients.”

Construction of the new clinic, to be named Delta Dental of Illinois Pediatric Dentistry Clinic, is scheduled for this summer.

The donation was raised as part of the University of Illinois Brilliant Futures Campaign, which has a $1.5 million goal for the department of pediatric dentistry’s clinic.

“An essential part of our company’s mission is to improve the oral health of the communities we serve,” said Robert Dennison, chief executive officer and president of Delta Dental.

“Our donation will help establish good oral health that could last a lifetime for the children treated at the clinic and make oral health more accessible for underserved individuals.”

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