Dr. Rebecca Schaffer
Dr. Schaffer (Dr. Rebecca) is the owner and primary dentist at Sundance Dental Care. She is also an adjunct professor at the Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ASDOH), where she teaches dentistry for people with special needs.
In addition to being an expert general dentist, she is especially skilled at managing the connection between the mouth and body. She is also expert at treating patients with medically complex conditions, which covers the spectrum of patients with diabetes, heart conditions, blood disorders, developmental and cognitive issues, neuro-muscular diseases, etc.
Her professional focus is on promoting well-being, educating patients about the importance of maintaining a healthy mouth to maintain health of the entire body and improving interdisciplinary collaboration to improve health outcomes.
Most important, Dr. Schaffer truly cares about her patients; it is evident in her work with special needs patients, her mission work and with each and every patient. Dr. Schaffer has been practicing dentistry in the Valley since 2006 and has played an active role in improving patient access to quality care.
In addition to her private practice and teaching responsibilities, Dr. Schaffer:
- Lectures internationally on bleeding disorders, improving communication and collaboration across dental and medical specialties, and various topics related to special care dentistry.
- Serves on the Maricopa County Ryan White Part A Quality Committee.
- Is the current North American delegate to the Dental Committee, World Federation of Hemophilia, and also works closely with the Arizona Hemophilia Association.
- Serves as vice chair of the liaison committee, Council of Dentistry for People with Disabilities for the Special Care Dentistry Association.
- Co-authored Dental Guides for treating people with autism, including ones for dentists, parents and autism care providers, helped develop and teach a three day CE program for dental providers.
- Co-authored a chapter on Quality Management and Improvement for Health Care Centers for the National Network for Oral Health Access.
- Is a critical summary writer for the American Dental Association (ADA) Evidence Based Dentistry (EBD) website.
Prior to moving Phoenix, Dr. Schaffer practiced dentistry in New Jersey. She received her DDS from Columbia University, College of Dental Medicine. After completing her residency at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, Dr. Schaffer maintained a mobile practice, caring for people who were home-bound, hospitalized, residing in nursing homes, or otherwise unable to seek traditional dental care.
She returned to academia after ten years in practice, earning a post-doctoral fellowship in treating people with complex medical problems. After obtaining her fellowship, Dr. Schaffer continued to work with special needs populations, working in community health centers in Atlantic City, NJ, and directing the pediatric mobile dentistry unit for Columbia University, where she served as faculty.
She is a member of the American Dental Association, the Special Care Dentistry Association, the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry, the American Academy of Orofacial Pain, and the American Dental Education Association.
“Partnering with Open Wide allowed me to treat a truly under-served population. More importantly it gave our team the opportunity to show dentists in Guatemala how to treat people with special needs. It is gratifying to know we were able to make a lasting difference in the lives of people with special needs and improve their access to care.”
See all of the Special Needs Week PHOTOS