In Nassau, a health system expands dental medicine services

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By Dan Sears

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Two dental practices in Nassau County have been acquired by Northwell Health.

These additional practices include Northwell Health Physician Partners Dental Medicine in Great Neck and another in Garden City. Terms of the acquisition were not immediately avaialable.

“This is a great step for dental medicine as part of Northwell’s strategic mission to deliver care in Nassau County,” Dr. David Hirsch, senior vice president of dental medicine at Northwell, said in a written statement.

“Good oral health is directly related to the prevention and control of a wide range of diseases, from diabetes to heart disease,” Hirsch added. “Northwell’s goal of taking care of patients wholistically allows us to look at the whole patient and that includes dental services.”

The Great Neck multispecialty practice, previously known as Distinctive Dental Services of New York, PC, is led by Dr. Ralph Epstein, a dentist anesthesiologist who is a staff dentist anesthesiologist at Northwell. Epstein has served as program director of the dental anesthesiology specialty program and is a clinical associate professor of dental anesthesiology at the Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine. With nine procedure rooms and a general anesthesia suite, the office provides general dentistry, orthodontics and pediatric dentistry.

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As far back as 1982, the practice has also treated patients who are medically compromised and patients with special needs. Northwell said it plans to continue providing dental care to these populations. The office is staffed by Epstein, three general dentists, three pediatric dentists and one orthodontist.

“My excitement for working at Northwell goes back to 1981 when I completed my dental anesthesia training at Long Island Jewish Medical Center,” Epstein said in a written statement.

“I consider this a ‘returning home’ moment,” he added. “My residency training was excellent, and this position permits me to ‘give back’ to the institution that trained me and the ability to provide anesthesia care to patients with special needs.”

The Garden City multispecialty practice, previously known as Leonard Patella, DDS, is led by Dr. Leonard Patella, a cosmetic dentist who is chief of general dentistry at Northwell, and who also served as chair of dental medicine at Glen Cove Hospital.

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Patella is a clinical assistant professor at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell. The Garden City office has three procedure rooms, offers oral surgery and is staffed by Patella, a general dentist and an oral surgeon.

“For more than 30 years, I have been dedicated to serving the Garden City and surrounding areas as a dentist collaborating closely with Northwell,” Patella said in a written statement.

“My commitment to providing quality dental care has been steadfast and I am proud to have recently integrated my practice into Northwell Health Physician Partners, further enhancing our ability to deliver comprehensive health care services to our community,” he added. “Together, we strive to uphold the highest standards of dental care and contribute to the well-being of our patients.”

With the new locations, Northwell now has seven dental outpatient programs in the region, including six on Long Island. In August Northwell and ProHealth Dental announced a strategic agreement to provide oral health services across Long Island, New York City and Westchester County.

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