Drive-thru dentistry to treat young boy with cleft lip and palate

Created: April 08, 2020 05:59 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — A local dentist's office is using a unique method to make sure a little boy gets the care he needs.

During these difficult times, we have put certain things in our lives on hold but some people with medical conditions can't always put their treatment on hold due to time-critical procedures.


We spoke to one family and their pediatric dentist about having to continue treatment for their baby but in a creative way due to social distancing. 

Elijah was born with a cleft lip and palate. His family drives four hours a week there and back from Syracuse to get treatment from Dr. Erin Shope, a Pediatric Dentist at Eastman Dental Center.

“Instead of coming inside of the dental center I meet them at their car in our drive-in area, I get the appliance from the family and bring it inside to do adjustments in our lab,” Dr. Shope said. “I then adjust the appliance and deliver it in their car so they never have to step outside of the car. They don't have to come inside and that can really help with social distancing and help with decreased exposure.”

“Using the NAM has made a really big difference in Elijah's health now we can already see how it is going to make a big difference for him for years to come,” Elijah’s mom, Anna said. “He has had a much easier time eating and self soothing even beyond that it will make his first surgery  a lot easier and his recovery a lot better.”

This procedure is crucial for Elijah's development. His parents looked into options and knew that Eastman Dental was the only place in the area with a pediatric dentist who knew how to help with Elijah's teeth coming in and also his cleft. 

The way that Dr. Shope has been performing his treatment will not only will help him medically but keep him safe during COVID-19.

Copyright 2020 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

Comment on Facebook