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Delta Dental Foundation Awards $24,363 Grant to Foundation for Pediatric Dental Equipment

Published on Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Dr. Jane Stieber and teamMcLaren Northern Michigan and pediatric dentist, Dr. Jane Stieber, are teaming up to provide young children with safe, efficient, and effective dental care under general anesthesia.

The McLaren Northern Michigan Foundation received a grant of $24,363 from the Delta Dental Foundation to purchase dental equipment for use in operating rooms at McLaren Northern Michigan.

“Pediatric dental care under general anesthesia is most commonly used to protect the developing psyche of young children who have severe early childhood cavities and cannot cooperate in an office setting,” said Dr. Stieber.

Most of the children Dr. Stieber cares for in the operating room are under the age of six and require extensive rehabilitative procedures such as dental extractions, fillings, nerve treatments, and crowns.

“It is important to note, the use of general anesthesia is not necessary for healthy, cooperative children with minimal dental needs,” said Dr. Stieber.

Dentists generally do not administer general anesthesia to young children in an office setting nor do they commonly have privileges to deliver care under general anesthesia in a hospital operating room. Instead, they refer to a pediatric dentist with hospital privileges.

Although Dr. Stieber has privileges at McLaren Northern Michigan, the operating rooms were not ideally outfitted for dental procedures. The grant from the Delta Dental Foundation is helping with costs to equip McLaren Northern Michigan to serve pediatric dental patients.

“We are pleased to provide funding to McLaren Northern Michigan,” said Teri Battaglieri, Delta Dental Foundation director. “Children miss 51 million hours of school every year because of oral health related issues, and tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease today. This funding will help ensure more children receive the care they need, so they can grow up healthy and be successful in school and in life.”

Prior to working with McLaren Northern Michigan, Dr. Stieber did not have the option of performing hospital dentistry within two miles of her office, Petoskey Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Stieber and her patients had to travel outside of Petoskey to access an operating room.

On average, families travel 60 miles to receive care from Dr. Stieber, with some families who travel as far as 120 miles one-way from the Upper Peninsula for care.

“Improving access to comprehensive quality health care services is a priority for McLaren Northern Michigan,” said David Zechman, President and CEO of McLaren Northern Michigan. “We are grateful to the Delta Dental Foundation for its support and to Dr. Stieber for providing this important service to northern Michigan children.”

Providing pediatric dental care under general anesthesia at McLaren Northern Michigan starting May 2017 will mean reducing travel distance and wait times for many pediatric patients and their families. Dr. Stieber will also continue to serve patients in Gaylord and Charlevoix.