Dugoni building oral surgery center to improve health care for underserved populations

dentists dressed in scrubs stand at an operating table

The Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery SurgiCenter is expected to open summer 2024.

University of the Pacific’s Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry will build a new ambulatory surgery center at its San Francisco Campus to increase access to oral health care for low-income and historically underserved populations.

Funded by a $350,000 grant from the Herbst Foundation, the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery SurgiCenter is expected to open summer 2024 and will serve more than 150 patients annually, including children, older adults, and people with intellectual and development disabilities who require deep sedation and general anesthesia for dental/surgical care.

“Building out an accredited oral surgery center will enable our department to significantly expand our surgical services to include procedures that are normally performed in a hospital operating room,” said David Lam, associate dean for medical integration and professor and chair of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. “These services include outpatient jaw surgery, facial trauma repair, cranial nerve injury repair, management of benign and malignant pathology, complex reconstruction, sleep surgery, surgical orthodontic procedures, and temporomandibular joint surgery.”

The 1,800-square-foot facility will feature a reception area, a pre-op consultation room, three operating rooms, a post-anesthesia recovery unit, a pharmacy/dispensary area, and a supply management area.

It will initially be staffed by the department’s full-time faculty including Jesse Manton, a dental anesthesiologist, and three oral and maxillofacial surgeons, along with a registered nurse and surgical assistants. Dental students, residents and interns will assist with patient care.

The Dugoni School’s model of enhanced patient safety, collaboration and dedication to the highest-quality oral health care makes it uniquely qualified to care for underserved patient populations who cannot be treated in traditional dental settings but do not require the resources of a full-scale hospital.

“Oral and maxillofacial surgery centers in an academic setting are rare; only a few exist on the East Coast and none in Northern California,” said Nader A. Nadershahi, dean of Dugoni and vice provost of the San Francisco Campus. “This generous grant from the Herbst Foundation will go a long way in supporting care for underserved people in California and training the next generation of dental and medical providers.”

The Herbst Foundation focuses on providing capital funds for the construction or renovation of facilities of tax-exempt organizations within San Francisco. The grants are primarily directed toward education, health, social services and cultural institutions.