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Physician Connection
A Communication Service for Physicians from CHOC and CHOC at Mission. Please Note: Physician Connection is no longer being printed and is now available electronically. Please visit our blog at http://docs.chocchildrens.org for the latest articles for our physician community. You can also receive our electronic Physician Connection newsletter in your inbox by subscribing to our mailing list: http://www.choc.org/subscribe

Spotlight: Richard Mungo, D.D.S.

He wages a daily battle against gummy bears, sugary drinks and other tooth-destroying snacks. Richard Mungo, D.D.S., typically spends his Fridays in the CHOC operating room treating patients whose average age is 18 months.

Better parent education and earlier dental care could prevent most of the problems he sees, but Dr. Mungo knows that isn't the entire answer.

Orange County has a shortage of pediatric dentists working with young or handicapped children. One of 11 pediatric dentists on the CHOC medical staff, Dr. Mungo believes one of the reasons for this shortage is the lack of an Orange County dental school. Residents tend to stay in the area in which they trained.

Thanks in great part to Dr. Mungo's efforts, USC dental residents recently began receiving training at CHOC. With funds obtained from state, federal and private sources, the residents will be working in the CHOC two-chair outpatient dental clinic, when completed, as well as in the operating and emergency rooms. The residents are rotating through the various inpatient specialties, working with oncology, hematology, craniofacial and other patient teams on an as-needed basis.

"In order to provide overall comprehensive healthcare, you can't leave out pediatric dentistry," says Dr. Mungo, who has served on the CHOC Oncology Committee. "When patients have cardiac problems, or are receiving chemotherapy or radiation therapy, it is certainly reflected in the mouth. A patient cannot get a kidney or bone marrow transplant if there are dental diseases."

The USC residents are also gaining hands-on experience at Healthy Smiles of Orange County, the outpatient dental clinic located upstairs from the CHOC Clinic on the campus of the Garden Grove Boys and Girl Club. Specifically targeting the 0 - 5 age group, Healthy Smiles of Orange County is working with community pediatricians, pediatric dentists and educational institutions to bring dental treatment, education and preventive care to medically underserved children.

MAKING A MARK ON SEVERAL LEVELS
Dr. Mungo completed dental school at Case Western Reserve and his residency at Boston University (Goldman) School of Graduate Dentistry. He served a fellowship at USC/Rancho Los Amigos Hospital in craniofacial anomalies. Dr. Mungo also has a master's degree in medical education from the USC School of Medicine.

From 1978 to 1993, Dr. Mungo was the department chair of pediatric dentistry at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, in association with USC School of Dentistry. He has published papers in areas of cleft palate therapy, conducted original research and published protocols for the use of lasers in dentistry, and published in various areas of hospital dentistry and oral complications of AIDS in the pediatric population.

Dr. Mungo has also served on the board of several dental societies, and is a past-president of the California Society of Pediatric Dentistry, Western Society of Pediatric Dentistry, and the Southern California Chapter of the American Society of Dentistry for Children. He has received several prestigious honors including the Harold McAllister Chair in Dentistry, and the Morris and Mary Press Humanism Award. In 2002 he received the L.I.F.E. Achievement Award for outstanding dedication and service to children with developmental disabilities.

In addition to CHOC and Healthy Smiles of Orange County, Dr. Mungo has worked with many other community organizations, including the International Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Association, the United Cerebral Palsy Association, Special Needs Advocates for Parents, the Los Angeles Head Start Program, the Los Angeles Olympic Committee and Boy Scouts of America.

Richard Mungo, D.D.S., is in practice at 7891 Talbert Avenue, Suite 103, in Huntington Beach. To contact him, please call (714) 841-4990.

CHOC CHILDREN'S PUBLICATIONS
PHYSICIAN CONNECTION ENEWSLETTER
KIDS HEALTH MAGAZINE
ANNUAL REPORT
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