> The College > Departments > Pediatric Dentistry
Chair: Amr M. Moursi, D.D.S., Ph.D, Associate Professor of Pediatric Dentistry
Watch video: "Bringing Dental Care and Education to Kasigluk, Alaska"
The Department of Pediatric Dentistry was founded in 1949, as one of
the first in the nation, and has always been committed to community
service and care for the underserved. The department established a modality
of nonpharmacologic behavior management and anticipatory guidance that
has been a model in the specialty. The core philosophy is that oral
health care of the infant and child is the responsibility of the primary
care provider and through health promotion and prevention of oral disease,
every child can grow up with a healthy and intact dentition. The Infant
Dental Education Area (IDEA), one of the first in the nation, was created
to provide a nonthreatening environment for education and treatment
for the young child. The innovative “Smile Team” Program
guarantees that every child can remain cavity free.
The Department of Pediatric Dentistry has developed programs to aid
in improving access and providing care to children regardless of their
medical or financial status. There is a long history of working with
the community and public schools to provide oral health education and
treatment to children. One of the most recent and exciting aspects of
this community service is the NYUCD mobile van Smiling Faces, Going
Places that brings comprehensive dental care to underserved populations
in New York City at public schools, Head Start facilities, and shelters
for homeless children of New York City. Some of the other programs include
- A 25-year history
of providing care to public school children at the pediatric dentistry
clinic for comprehensive care through a school busing program.
- Outreach programs
that provide screening to 5,000 children annually including physically
and emotionally challenged children
- Community health
fairs citywide to provide oral health education, screenings, and referrals,
including the New York City Special Olympics, Special Smiles Program.
with New York City Head Start day care centers to provide oral health
examinations and a busing treatment program for comprehensive care.
It Safe” Mouth Guard Program to provide preventive service through
community centers and schools.
- Partners in
Prevention Programs: training nondental health care providers about
oral health care including early intervention strategies, education
and oral health care to mothers and their infants in community shelters,
and adolescent mothers through the LYFE Program at high schools citywide.
The curriculum in pediatric dentistry is presented so that the general
dentist will be well-prepared to meet the needs of infants, children,
and adolescents. The philosophy of early prevention and nonpharmacologic
management is used to instill in the child and parent that dentistry
is an expected part of good overall health. The curriculum focuses on
the anatomic, physiologic, and psychological differences and changes
that occur as children become adults and the modifications that are
necessary in dental care. Throughout students’ education, they
participate in one of the nation’s largest outreach programs at
public school system and community centers (Head Start centers).
In the first year, the student learns about health promotion and preventive
strategies and general dentistry restorative techniques as applicable
to the pediatric dentition through the integrated courses of General
Dentistry Simulation. Simulation courses provide the student with the
basic skills required to diagnose and treat the growing child and include
pediatric prevention and basic restorative techniques.
During the second year, students are presented the pediatric dentistry
curriculum through the integrated lectures courses of General Dentistry
Simulation, Diagnosis Risk Assessment and Disease Management, Growth
Guidance, and Survey of Dental Specialties series. Lectures in the second
year focus on diagnostic and foundation knowledge of considerations
in pediatric dentistry and include diagnostic tools, behavior management,
child development, risk assessment and prevention, space management,
and restorative dentistry. Competencies in the area of child abuse and
neglect of the pediatric patient, and prevention techniques including
injury prevention, are required for promotion to the next level of education.
In preparation for clinical care, through experiential methods, students
become familiar with clinical techniques for the pediatric patient,
while learning about clinical procedures and experiences that the pediatric
dental patient is to face.
Lectures in the third year deal with the specialty treatment of pediatric
dentistry problems. Advanced pediatric topics included are behavior
modification for the noncompliant patient, special patient care, developmental
problems, traumatic injuries, health promotion, and anticipatory guidance.
Students present clinical cases during seminars that integrate patient
care from a case-based, patient-focused perspective.
During the third year, students begin to provide comprehensive patient
care of pediatric patients in the Pediatric Dentistry Clinic. Opportunities
exist to develop skills in clinical treatment of a wide variety of childhood
conditions. Emphasis is given to prevention, changing concepts in caries
restorations including nonsurgical care, community outreach programs,
and provision of care to underserved children.
Senior students continue to provide comprehensive patient care of pediatric
patients in the Pediatric Dentistry Clinic with competencies in the
area of diagnostic, emergency care, prevention, and restorative care.
Opportunities exist to treat the more difficult pediatric patient. Seminars
in the fourth year utilize the student’s acquired skills to further
comprehensive treatment of pediatric patients in a general practice
Pediatric Dentistry Honors Program: This program allows students
to finely focus their pediatric dentistry skills through seminars, treatment
of very young pediatric patients using conscious sedation and behavior
management, and hospital rotations where they provide patient care under
Past research in the department has been focused on the early treatment,
preventive strategies, and educational models to disseminate this information
to the necessary providers and parents of the pediatric population.
There have been several funded demonstration programs including the
Infant Oral Health, Partners in Prevention, and “Playing it Safe”
Some of the present research projects in the department include investigations
of utilization of emergency services, oral health disparities, compliance
with care, use of topical and local anesthesia in pediatric patients,
developmental norms, and effective early intervention strategies.
The department has a HRSA training grant to help support an increased
number of residents in the Advanced Education Program in Pediatric Dentistry.
For additional information: View academic bulletin