By Marti Gacioch
Special needs dentistry patients are a focus for Jana Osmolinski, DDS, at La Jolla Family Dentistry. Jana, a trained dental anesthesiologist, and her husband and partner, Eric Osmolinski, DMD, have worked as a dental team in town since opening newly renovated Draper offices in August 2013.
Jana is one of only 300 dental anesthesiologists in the country. She specializes in providing for special needs patients, concentrating on little ones, younger than age 4, who need extensive treatment. She also cares for special needs adults with neural disorders, stroke patients, people with back pain and gag reflex issues, who are difficult to treat outside of a hospital setting.
After receiving her general dental education in Slovakia, Jana moved to Canada where she re-trained before participating in the advanced anesthesia and sedation program at New York City’s St. Barnabas Hospital. After three years, she said she mastered all the procedures necessary to prepare her for handling different kinds of emergencies.
“I took this training because I was encountering a lot of patients who couldn’t be treated traditionally in a dental chair,” Jana said. “I decided that I wanted to be able to treat everyone appropriately without any traumatizing — just a smooth and enjoyable experience — and sometimes anesthesia is the only answer.”
She explained special needs patients rarely get regular dental care because they have nowhere to go. The few available places are associated with training programs at dental schools, but there are none in San Diego. The other choice for patients is the hospital, but that’s more expensive and there’s a long waiting period for treatment.
“We want to get the word out that we are here to help those patients,” Jana said.
Eric Osmolinski is an oral maxillofacial surgeon, who has also had extensive anesthesia training. He specializes in every aspect of oral surgery, including dental implants, wisdom teeth extraction, Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ) and trauma care.
The doctors have two children and stay active in the community, offering free mouth-guard clinics for kids participating in sports. They will participate in the annual health fair at the La Jolla Community Center on May 9, as well as the La Jolla Art and Wine Festival in the fall, which benefits four La Jolla elementary schools.
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Jana and Eric Osmolinski
La Jolla Family Dentistry, 7509 Draper Ave., Suite B. (858) 454-8484.
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