Dientes Community Dental Care has launched Santa Cruz County’s first dental residency program, in partnership with and sponsored by NYU Langone Hospitals, the world’s largest postdoctoral dental program to train dentists in the public health setting.
In this inaugural year, Dientes is hosting two residents: Dr. Allison Bonsall and Dr. Sharon Osakue. The pair will provide dental care as they learn more about community health center service. They have already seen 350 patients in their first 60 days.
Accredited by the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation, the NYU Langone Hospitals’ Advanced Education in General Dentistry residency program aims to turn accomplished dental-school graduates into advanced clinicians, while residents concurrently provide oral healthcare to vulnerable communities with a focus on improving access to dental care.
Bonsall hails from the Medical University of South Carolina.
“It has been rewarding to care for patients,” Bonsall said, “while gaining professional growth through the mentorship of the Dientes attendings.”
Osakue, a graduate of Marquette University School of Dentistry, agreed.
“Dientes has such a great team atmosphere,” Osakue said. “I’m constantly surrounded by friendly faces who are always willing to help.”
The residency program is the latest addition to Dientes’ workforce investment programs, which include scholarships for Registered Dental Assistants, sponsorships of National Health Service Corp scholars and internships with Cabrillo College for hygienists and the County Office of Education for dental assistants.
Dientes is a nonprofit whose mission is to create lasting oral health for the underserved children and adults in Santa Cruz County and neighboring communities. Roughly 96% of the patients Dientes serves at its three clinics across the county and through its outreach programs at schools and community hubs live at or below the poverty level.
“We are excited about our new residency program and all the other opportunities we offer our staff to grow in their careers,” said Dientes EVP of Operations Dr. Sepi Taghvaei. “At Dientes, it’s about nurturing a passion for health center service and creating better oral health for our community.”
For information, visit dientes.org.