A modern dental and oral health center has become the 22ndn.d specialty in MUSC Health West Ashley Medical Pavilion, a sign of the site’s amazing evolution. The pavilion opened in the former Citadel Mall in late December 2019, a month before the first diagnosed case of COVID in the US — not exactly ideal timing.
But the ward has thrived despite this, seeing 64,000 patients last year alone. The addition of the dental clinic brings James Medical University of South Carolina’s expertise. B. Edwards College of Dentistry in the most populous part of Charleston.
“This is such an example of foresight,” said James B. Edwards’ widow, Ann, at the ribbon cutting.
Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg agreed. “This is where the customer base is. And while I certainly love and encourage people to come downtown and enjoy all the things we have there, the concept of bringing our services to the citizens of West Ashley—that’s what this overall downtown is about, ” he said. “I think you will be very successful.”
The clinic has four treatment rooms, on-site imaging and a full-time dentist on site, with MUSC faculty members who specialize in dentistry also coming to see patients. Dental school dean Sarandeep Huja, DDS, Ph.D., said the clinic will focus on patient needs and the needs of collaborative services dictated by MUSC Health’s existing patients.
“In addition to exceptional dental care, eventually we’ll have all specialties and we’ll have all levels of care — faculty, residents, our students, and it’s really important that our students have experiences similar to what they would have in private practice.”
Paul Davis, DMD and a member of the MUSC Board of Trustees, spoke about the foresight that led to the establishment of the clinic. “Today’s ceremony represents a milestone that began with a vision by Dr. Huja and his team, a vision that has been shared and supported by Dr. Cole and Dr. Cawley and MUSC Health,” he said, referring to the President of MUSC David Cole. MD, and MUSC Health CEO Patrick Cawley, MD
“This vision emphasizes the importance of oral health as it relates to overall health and wellness,” Davis said.
Cole focused on the efforts that helped make that vision a reality. “It is an honor to be able to lead so many talented and dedicated people who are working hard to make a difference in people’s lives. There’s only one example, you know, so these are words from the heart. Thank you for what you do.”
Board Chair James Lemon, DMD, was also on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony, as were Gene Hong, MD, chief medical officer for MUSC Health, and Lisa Saladin, PT, Ph.D., executive vice president of Academic Affairs and provost.
Huja said that while the West Ashley dental clinic is the first not on MUSC’s downtown campus, that growth will continue. And it will serve as a symbol of what is possible for patients. “Why is this clinic important? The connection between systemic and oral health is embodied in this integrated model of care that MUSC will offer here at the West Ashley Medical Pavilion.
Ann Edwards said the clinic brings a much-needed opportunity for dental expertise supported by an academic medical center to people living in West Ashley. “It is wonderful that you have come to them. And this is so important. Thank you, to everyone who made it possible.”
To schedule an appointment at the MUSC Health West Ashley Medical Pavilion dental clinic, call 843-876-9267.