An historic gift of $500,000 to the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Dentistry from Dr. Gerald Niznick [DMD/66] is giving Manitoba’s dentistry students the opportunity to pioneer new dental implant technology while also helping Winnipeg’s homeless community.
Launched just two weeks ago, the Niznick Overdenture Program has allowed the Faculty of Dentistry to partner with Siloam Mission’s health centre to offer complete dental implants to 35 homeless people.
“Dr. Niznick is known for his philanthropy in dentistry and implant dentistry in particular,” said Dean of Dentistry, Dr. Tony Iacopino. “However, this gift is unique as it targets a critical unmet need for an underserved population and it will dramatically improve quality of life for these patients. We are thankful that Dr. Niznick has given our school the opportunity to participate in his community service vision.”
Dr. Niznick’s gift, the largest private donation ever received by the Faculty of Dentistry, is helping to place the faculty at the forefront of a new dental implant procedure – implant-supported overdentures – that produces better results than traditional complete dentures. Normally the implants would cost at least $10,000 per patient, but this gift has enabled the faculty to perform the procedures on these 35 patients at no charge.
“There are few things worse than broken, rotting or missing teeth,” says Floyd Perras, executive director of Siloam Mission. “Bad teeth lower your self-esteem, get in the way of eating properly, affect your speech and hurt your chances of getting a job. All of those things are detrimental to feeling good about yourself and discourage you from moving forward in your life. Bad teeth rob your sense of self-worth. That’s why we’re thankful beyond words for this opportunity.”
An international leader in the field of implant dentistry, Dr. Niznick holds 35 US patents and founded Core-Vent, Implant Direct and Implant Direct Sybron Int’l. His success has allowed him to become a significant benefactor of dental education, particularly in the field of implant dentistry, helping to foster innovation and excellence.
“I am proud of my contributions to this cause,” said Dr. Niznick. “It will provide dental students and faculty with a rewarding experience that will positively influence their perspective on dental implant therapy.”
The University of Manitoba is the lead institution in a multi-university study documenting the benefits of the overdenture type of treatment pioneered by Dr. Niznick in 1982, and now simplified and improved with his latest generation of one-piece implants. The program will make an enormous difference in the lives of its participants. The first 13 patients have already begun the 12-week procedure at the University’s Dental Clinic on Bannatyne Ave.