Dental problems are prevalent among children and adults with Cerebral Palsy and other developmental disorders primarily because of inadequate oral hygiene. Risk factors such as mouth breathing, enamel hypoplasia, malocclusion, and the effects of medication contribute to the specialty needs of those with disabilities.
One of the most neglected aspects of health and wellness, oral health and hygiene make a significant difference in the quality of life. A confident smile also works wonders for a person’s self esteem and outlook on life.
UCP Greater New Orleans’ volunteer dentists are experienced in treating patients with all types of disabilities. We make going to the dentist a positive experience by delivering quality care in a comforting environment.
Dr. Francis G. “Frank” Martello
Director of the UCP Greater New Orleans Dental Clinic
Dr. Francis G. “Frank” Martello grew up on Maple Street in the same shotgun house where his mother was raised. He attended Mater Dolorosa elementary, De La Salle High School and LoyolaUniversity receiving a Bachelor of Science in Biology.
A 1979 graduate of the LSU School of Dentistry, Dr. Martello has been in private practice for 35 years. His commitment to dentistry is reflected by his two terms on the Louisiana State Board of Dentistry, completing his last term in 2012 as the Board’s Secretary-Treasurer. He is currently a Clinical Associate Professor in the LSU School of Dentistry’s Department of Comprehensive Dentistry where he has taught since 1995. He served as an examiner for state board clinical licensing exams for 20 years and continues to serve with the Council of Interstate Testing Agencies.
An active and involved member of the New Orleans Dental Association (NODA), Dr. Martello has served on a variety of committees and officer positions on the Board of Governors including a term as President of the dental association in 1993. Most recently, he was the recipient of the 2013 Honor Dentist award from the NODA. The Louisiana Dental Association honored Dr. Martello in 2006 with its Distinguished Service Award.
Dr. Martello has been on the Dental Staff of Touro Infirmary since 1980. With Dr. Sal Caputto, he helped establish the dental protocol for cancer patients at Touro.
As a volunteer, Dr. Martello has served as Director of the United Cerebral Palsy of Greater New Orleans (UCPGNO) free Dental Clinic since 1984. For the past 30 years, he has treated the often complex dental needs of thousands of developmentally disabled children and adults with Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome and Autism. The UCPGNO Dental Clinic was founded 50 years ago and is the oldest free dental clinic of its kind in the United States.
He has also served on the UCPGNO’s Medical Advisory Board and Board of Directors for the past 20 years. As a volunteer with the Louisiana Special Olympics, Dr. Martello has provided oral screenings at their events in New Orleans and Hammond for over 20 years. His efforts facilitated the establishment of dental facilities at Farhad Grotto Dentistry for the Handicapped in Harahan.
His special talents for working with the disabled as a volunteer dentist have been critically important to their health and well being. In our community, Dr. Martello has made a significant difference in the daily lives of the thousands of developmentally disabled patients he has treated over the past 30 years.
Of his work for the betterment of the dental profession and as a committed volunteer in the community, Dr. Martello said “We are given a finite amount of time to accomplish the goals of helping others. Mother Theresa said she had all of eternity to rest. That sounds good to me.”