About Us

Mission Statement

Exceptionalsmiles.org was established to serve as a guide for caregivers and parents of the special needs population in improving oral health and hygiene.  This site’s goal is to provide easy tips and videos for better brushing,  lists of experienced special needs dentists, and resourceful  information regarding common problems found in the disabled population.

Jessica Listwa,  Doctor of Dental Medicine

Dr. JessCurrently Dr. Jessica Listwa is a Pediatric Dental Resident at the University of Connecticut  School of Dental Medicine and the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. She graduated from  The University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine with Community Honors in 2016.  Jessica created and designed this website,  in addition to providing research content.  Jessica also founded the UPenn chapter of the  American Association of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry, which focuses on educating medical and dental students and healthcare professionals on caring  for special needs patients.   She is  a sibling of a disabled sister, and understands the difficulty and importance of proper oral health care for the disabled community. She is a member of Alpha Omega dental fraternity and enjoys playing guitar and traveling.

Monica Patel, Class of 2016


Monica Patel is a fourth year student at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. She has worked closely with Jessica on developing the content of this website. She was first exposed to a  disability like autism when she volunteered at a medical camp hosted at her local Hindu temple for the underprivileged South Asian community.  This has sparked her interest in getting more involved and addressing challenges that caregivers face. In her free time, Monica enjoys dancing and cooking.




 Dr. Joan Gluch, University of Pennsylvania School Of Dental Medicine 

Dr. Gluch has helped guide and advise the making of this website each step of the way. As course director for many community outreach courses, she has taught community leaders and dentists the importance of oral health and hygiene for the community and the need to serve the underprivileged. She is passionate about serving the community and has developed numerous programs to help the lives of many people.

Dr. Cavan Brunsden , KidZdent, Old Bridge, NJ

Dr. Brunsden  provided many of the videos and was a mentor in developing this website. As the state chairman of the New Jersey Dental Association, he is a strong advocate for children’s healthcare education throughout the state.  Dr. Brunsden is dedicated to providing an environment of positive dental health experiences for children – and a lifetime of smiles.