Treating tooth decay, tartar build-up, and tooth pain are the mainstays of dental care for children.
“Tooth decay is common, but there are some unusual dental cases that you’ve probably never heard much about such as ectodermal dysplasia,” says Dr. Mark Casafrancisco, a pediatric dentist from Monarch Pediatric Dental Centre.
Ectodermal Dysplasia Syndrome is a genetic disorder that can cause abnormal development of hair, nails, sweat glands—and teeth. Children with this syndrome who have affected teeth are treatable with extensive dental treatments, often including orthodontics and oral surgery. While Ectodermal Dysplasia may be less known to the general public, its effects and treatment are misunderstood by some dental practitioners.
“There are lots of misconceptions when treating children with rare or unusual syndromes,” says Dr. Casafrancisco, “We thought that partnering with UBC Dentistry in helping pediatric patients in need will somehow lessen the misapprehension.”
Last year, Monarch Pediatric Dental Centre established the Instar Endowment that supports an elective program for UBC Dentistry students focusing on pediatric patients with specialized dental needs—including rare or unusual syndromes such as ectodermal dysplasia. For the students, the Instar Endowment, as well as enhancing their clinical and treatment planning skills, is an incredible resource in learning complex yet positive early dental care techniques for children with unusual syndromes affecting their oral health.
“The Monarch Pediatric Dental Centre team will work with the pediatric patient and their family in collaboration with the students in developing and executing a comprehensive treatment plan that will address the patient’s specific needs,” explains Dr. Casafrancisco.
Aside from helping to alleviate the financial burden many families face with children in need of complex dental treatment, this partnership reinforces the educational value and mentorship to the UBC Dentistry DMD program.
“Monarch Pediatric Dental Centre is thrilled to partner with UBC Dentistry to create the Instar Endowment, which will support outstanding oral health care and education to pediatric patients who have little to no access to dental treatment,” adds Dr. Casafrancisco.
The Instar Endowment is another example of how partnerships between UBC and forward-thinking practitioners create positive change in our communities, and in this case, by shining a light on specialized pediatric dental care for the next generation of dentists.