Robert “Bob” Rotella, DDS, Dentist, C. L. Brumback Primary Care Clinics
For more than 34 years, Dr. Robert “Bob” Rotella has dedicated his days to improving kids’ health through dental care.
He first joined the Department of Health in 1983 and then transitioned to the C. L. Brumback Primary Care Clinics in 2015. For most of that time, he also maintained a private practice until 2011.
Each year, National Children’s Dental Health Month shines a professional and a public spotlight on the impact of his commitment. Affectionately referred to as “Dr. Bob” by the families he sees, Dr. Rotella primarily treats underserved children. His patients come from disenfranchised communities and those on Medicaid.
Without Dr. Bob, the majority would have no access to dental care.
To improve access to care, Dr. Bob is part of the “Warm Handoff” program at the C. L. Brumback Primary Care Clinics. The initiative focuses on children under age 3 who are seeing the pediatrician, but do not have a primary dentist.
Following the medical visit, children are walked over to the dental clinic for an oral examination and an opportunity to establish a “dental home.” The joint initiative is particularly important because many people do not realize that baby teeth are also susceptible to caries. Avoiding cavities is one of the first steps in having a healthy mouth for a lifetime.
“Just as children see a pediatrician they should see a dentist at the first sign of a tooth for well dental care,” Dr. Bob stressed.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry echoes his sentiments and wants parents to schedule their child’s first dental visit as soon the first tooth appears (around 6 months of age.)
The theme for this year’s National Children Dental Health Month is “Choose tap water… for a sparkling smile!” and Dr. Bob agrees.
He shared, “I am a product of fluoride and know the value of it. I grew up in a fluoridated area and never had a cavity as a child.”
In addition, his message for parents is that “It is your responsibility to keep your child’s teeth healthy.”