The New England Center for Children Opens Supersmile Dental Clinic

State-of-the-Art Dental Clinic on Campus to Serve Children with Autism

Southborough, MA, September 07, 2023 --( The New England Center for Children® (NECC®), a global leader in autism education and research, announced the opening of the Smigel Supersmile® Dental Clinic operated by New England Dental Group (NEDG), a new state-of-the-art dental clinic on campus.

The first-of-its-kind clinic will provide on-site dental services for more than 100 residential NECC students with autism, with future plans to expand to day students and employees. The clinic is an expansion of the Smigel Supersmile Dental Program - a dental desensitization protocol that helps prepare children with autism for dental visits. The clinic is used in the desensitization program as well as twice-a-year dental care visits.

“Children with autism face many challenges in dental care that can lead to deficient oral health,” said NECC CEO Jessica Sassi, PhD, BCBA-D, LABA. “NECC’s dental desensitization program and new in-house clinic will alleviate the stress children face, provide needed dental care, and improve quality-of-life.”

The Smigel Supersmile Dental Clinic operated by NEDG is the latest innovation in NECC’s mission to transform the lives of children with autism. NECC researchers saw a problem – that dental visits were difficult, if not impossible, for children with autism. They found a way to teach the students one step at a time until they could tolerate going to the dentist, a life-skill curriculum that is now taught around the world where autism educators are using NECC’s curriculum through their ACE® ABA Software.

“The NECC dental clinic is a tremendous benefit to our son Asaminew, whose behavioral and communication issues have prevented him from receiving proper dental care over the last several years,” said Louis Primmer, father of a NECC student. “Asaminew puts a lot of trust in his teachers and for him to be able to walk to a setting like this, in a building he is familiar with, makes this a much more positive experience for him. NECC’s desensitization program and now the in-school clinic are a game changer for our son’s dental and overall health.”

There are oral health disparities among children with autism as the severity of problem behavior prevents some from successfully tolerating oral examinations and procedures. Dental appointments are resource intensive when students and staff need to travel up to an hour each way to visit a dentist who specializes in treating patients with special needs.

“Supersmile is proud to share in the creation of a space where children with autism can access the services they need for more fulfilling, healthier lives,” said Bellanca Smigel Rutter, president of Supersmile. “In addition to our passion for promoting oral care, autism is a cause that is very close to our hearts.”

The Smigel Supersmile Dental Clinic services are provided by New England Dental Group (NEDG), which offers a full breadth of services and state-of-the-art technology for enhanced care in its nine locations throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

“NEDG is delighted to now offer in-school dental care at NECC. Our commitment to ensuring members of our community—including individuals with autism—receive high-quality dental care was the driving force behind our involvement with NECC,” said GT Thiagarajah, director of operations at NEDG.

About The New England Center for Children

The New England Center for Children® (NECC®) is an award-winning autism education center and research institute. Committed to creating a world where autism is not a barrier to happiness, growth, and independence, our community of teachers, researchers, and clinicians provide comprehensive services including day and residential programs, partner classrooms in public school systems, consulting services, and the ACE® ABA Software System (

NECC is committed to creating an equitable workplace for our diverse team and providing industry-leading staff professional development opportunities, specifically with our on-campus graduate degree partnership programs. The result is a growing pool of autism educators and researchers that impact the lives of children with autism both at NECC and around the world. The New England Center for Children is based in Southborough, MA, and operates a center in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Learn more at
The New England Center for Children
Kim Ruscitti
(508) 481-1015 x3288