Delta Dental of R.I. Partners with the Samuels Sinclair Dental Center at
Rhode Island Hospital to Launch new Oral Surgery Residency Program
Aiming to help fill a local and national need, the four-year program will be the first of its kind in the Ocean State specifically focused on oral surgery
In a partnership that dates back more than a decade, Delta Dental of Rhode Island and the Samuels Sinclair Dental Center at Rhode Island Hospital are working together to launch the state’s first Oral Surgery Residency Program. The initiative is designed to address the demand, both at the local and national levels, to expand the number of oral surgeons practicing in the field.
Once established, the Delta Dental Oral Surgery Clinic and the Rhode Island Hospital Oral Surgery Residency Program will be a four-year Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMFS) program. It will accept two residents per year and support multiple newly created, full-time clinical, administrative, and programmatic positions at Rhode Island Hospital. The new residency program is being made possible by funding from a generous grant from Delta Dental of Rhode Island, which represents the largest grant the insurer has ever made to the Samuels Sinclair Dental Center at Rhode Island Hospital. The grant will also help fund the purchase of new, industry-best equipment to enhance the center’s operatories.
The Samuels Sinclair Dental Center opened in 1931 through the philanthropic generosity of Colonel Joseph Samuels to ensure children whose parents could not afford to pay would be provided with high quality dental care. It later expanded to also deliver dental services to intellectually or developmentally disabled patients of all ages. The center is one of the only, and among the first, in the country to provide comprehensive, multi-disciplinary dental care within a hospital setting.
“As the health system at large continues to face a national workforce shortage, we as an industry here in Rhode Island need to make bold investments and create opportunities to strengthen our state’s oral health talent pipeline,” said Joseph R. Perroni, president & CEO, Delta Dental of Rhode Island. “The Samuels Sinclair Dental Center is an ideal learning environment. We are proud to support this important work and we look forward to welcoming residents of this new program to the workforce.”
The Oral Surgery Residency Program is in the planning stages and is expected to be up and running within the next three years. The program is an addition to the center’s Joseph S. Sinclair General Practice Residency Program, which launched in 2006 and accepts three residents a year. It is one of only three residency programs in New England to focus on special care dentistry.
“We thank Delta Dental of Rhode Island for, not only their tremendous financial support, but also their unwavering commitment to strengthening our state’s oral health field,” said Elizabeth Benz, DMD, director of the Samuels Sinclair Dental Center and a graduate of its general practice residency program. “We know an individual’s oral health plays a critical role in their overall well-being, and we are confident that the future residents who gain hands-on, clinical experience through this program will be well prepared to provide vital, potentially life-saving care to our neighbors across the state.”
Each year, the Samuels Sinclair Dental Center at Rhode Island Hospital provides care for more than 18,500 patient visits. Additionally, the center handles more than 2,500 hospital inpatient and emergency department patient cases annually. The center provides treatment clearance for the head and neck oncology division of the Lifespan Cancer Institute, as well as various Rhode Island Hospital clinics such as transplant, hematology, and cardiology/cardiothoracic surgery.