In the past, staff experienced great difficulty in transporting patients from the SCI unit dental services located on different floors. Patients on respirators and complex therapies required great care and resources that were not always available. Ventilation of these patients required nursing personnel, a respiratory therapist, and physical therapist to negotiate safe transport to the dental service and monitoring during the procedure. Also, bringing the care to bedside presented additional challenges. Beds in SCI are wide, making it awkward for the dentist to properly provide treatment. Larger dental equipment requiring compressed air, specialized water lines, evacuation, and electrical requirements could not be negotiated in the patient's room.
"Proper dental care fosters appropriate nutrition, maintenance of immune status, and good general health." Said Lynda Olender, Chief Nurse Executive. "Moreover, the cosmetic aspect of dentistry will help increase patients' self-esteem and acceptance in public. We believe it's important to treat the patient by a holistic oral hygiene approach, considering all contributing factors; not just the obvious physical injury alone."