Primary Care

Riverside Health System Welcomes Its First Health System-Based Dentist

March 25, 2021

Richard Sweeney DDS

Today Riverside Health System announces the addition of Dr. Richard Sweeney, DDS, to its care team. As a dentist, Dr. Sweeney’s introduction to the team makes him the only dentist to practice as part of a health system in the Hampton Roads area. Further, with added dental care, Riverside is expanding access to care in Eastern Virginia and pioneering this effort to provide expert dental services to underserved and medically compromised patients.

“Our mission is to care for our community members as we would care for those we love, to enhance their well-being, and improve their health. Riverside is proud to offer an in-house dental program for our community,” said Bill Downey, CEO of Riverside Health System. “We are excited to be implementing this innovative and integrated care option to support community members.”

As the only health system-operated dental program in the Hampton Roads area, Riverside will introduce dental care to community members as a cohesive part of their care. Without a unified approach to healthcare and an understanding of how dental care supports the overall health of patients with complex and chronic conditions, dental care is often underemphasized. However, when it becomes neglected or not included within a care plan, it can lead to larger health issues for patients. By incorporating dental care into Riverside’s services, patients can address ongoing dental concerns as they relate to their larger health as well as undergo emergency dental care if needed.

“Riverside Medical Group is thrilled to welcome Dr. Sweeney and to expand into dental services to better support our community,” said Dr. Thomas Kayrouz, president of Riverside Medical Group. “Patients deserve the best possible care, and by providing routine dental services to all patients we’re scaling our ability to deliver within another specialty.”

Utilizing his clinical expertise and extensive background in care for at-risk patients, Dr. Sweeney will provide high-quality dental care to patients with conditions including head and neck cancer, radiation therapy, diabetes, behavioral limitations and respiratory conditions including Cystic Fibrosis, airway compromise, and those who require ventilators or severe oxygen dependency. Dr. Sweeney is committed to treating everyone with the dignity, respect, and care they deserve.

“Dentistry is a crucial puzzle piece that helps create a larger picture of a patient’s health, yet it is often seen as a separate care need because of the lack of integration between dental practices and health systems,” said Dr. Sweeney. “By adding dental care to its services, Riverside is helping both underserved patients and those with underlying health conditions receive the best care holistically. in addition to preventative care, I will also provide dental trauma care in the Riverside Regional Medical Center’s Emergency Room on an as-needed basis. I am overjoyed to practice in this capacity and make a difference in the Hampton Roads community.”

Dr. Sweeney will practice at the Riverside Primary Care Community Clinic, which is a part of Riverside Medical Group, a network of more than 600 local physicians practicing in nearly every medical specialty. Dental services are offered Monday through Friday 8-4:30 p.m. at their office at 727 25th Street, Newport News, VA 23607.

For more information, visit riversideonline.com/dentist. To schedule an appointment call 757-316-5210.