OAKLAND -- The Mickey Mouse Club blares on the TV in the waiting room of La Clinica de La Raza’s dental clinic at Oakland’s Children’s Hospital. As a mother and grandmother speak Spanish and English to the three children in their care, their eldest sits by the door, jerking her arms up and down, talking to herself occasionally.
That child is called in to see Dr. Ed Rothman with her mother at her
side. He calms her fears by explaining what he’s doing as he examines
her recently cleaned teeth for cavities. Two years ago, he had to put
her under general anesthetic in a hospital operating room to fill in her
Children’s Hospital opened the dental clinic nearly thirty years ago
to address the oral health of hospital patients who had special
behavioral or medical needs, such as hemophilia, cancer or heart
Rothman spent his residency working with special needs children at
the Kennedy Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the
University of Maryland; and he likes serving special needs kids. “It’s more thinking than just filling and drilling and cleaning and looking at x-rays,” Rothman said. He’s been at the clinic for almost two decades.