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Purnima Hernandez, DDS, M.A., BCBA


Purnima Hernandez is a board certified pediatric dentist and behavior analyst who has been serving the communities of New York and New Jersey for over 20 years. Dr. Hernandez received her education in Pediatric Dentistry at Columbia University College of Dental medicine. After serving as an Assistant Professor for many years in the department of Pediatric dentistry she decided to pursue a career in the clinical practice of pediatric dentistry. She joined a well-known pediatric dentistry group in New Jersey where she served as a partner for a number of years. In 2005 she established her own office in Fair Lawn, New Jersey. She enjoys working with ALL children regardless of ability. Her special interests are treating children with special healthcare needs, anxieties, phobias and behavioral disorders.

Dr. Hernandez has a passion for treating children, and every child is her child when it comes to providing care. Dr. Hernandez is also a parent of a child with multiple disabilities including Autism Spectrum Disorders. She is an advocate not just for her own child but other children in the community and children in her practice. Dr. Hernandez is known in the country for her work in behavior management and lectures across the nation by invitation at conferences. You can review her lecture schedule under Professional Presentations on the website. She has spoken to audiences on various topics related to disability such as health, advocacy, therapy, and special needs dentistry, and has authored and co-authored articles related to disability issues. In the past she has served as a Council Member on the Council of Developmental Disabilities in New Jersey and a board member Disability Rights New Jersey. 

Her ultimate goal is not just deliver dental care but also teach her little people to accept it. There is a strong educational focus in her work along with management of the disease processes such as dental cavities. In an effort to help children tolerate their visits to the dentist, Dr. Hernandez uses behavioral techniques to help children accept dental care. Dr. Hernandez focuses on teaching her patients the skills that will allow them to sit appropriately in an office chair and receive treatment. She believes children can learn to receive routine treatment in a conventional manner through proper supports in the dental office just as they do in the daily living skills.

She is currently pursuing a certification in Functional Medicine. She has completed three of the seven modules. Her goal is to better understand the body and its processes in regards to nutrition and stress related issues. This interest was sparked by the need for preventative suggestions keeping conventional dentistry and medicine intact. She is always lingering in the frontier of medicine to explore new possibilities of interventions but remains grounded in evidence based scientific procedures.

She was awarded the Dr. Solomon Rosenstein Visiting Professorship and Fellowship by the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine for her contribution to the field of special needs dentistry. She was also awarded the Francis Black Humanitarian award in health care by Friends Health Connection, an award that recognizes individuals from New Jersey’s health care facilities who are an extraordinary inspiration to others. 

Dr Hernandez and her practice were featured in an article in the Journal of American Dental Association , two television news stories (CBS and NJN), as well as the subject of an in-depth article in the New Jersey Star Ledger

In her free time she enjoys being a wife and mother to Naryan and Sophia. She loves to blog cooking (From Chef H’s Kitchen) to encourage her “extended family” to eat clean and fresh. She enjoys dancing Salsa on 2 and working out. Meditation and Yoga is an important part of her fabric and she brings it to her patients and parents. She loves to read daily and publishes occasionally. She describes herself as a life enthusiast and believes happiness lies within. She looks forward to meeting you.

Current Appointment
2006 – Present Proprietor
Bergen Pediatric Dentistry, LLC
2002 – Present Hospital Staff
St. Joseph's Medical Center, NJ

Honors and Awards
2008 Frances Black Humanitarian Award in Healthcare
2006 Dr. Solomon Rosenstein Visiting Professorship and Fellow
1989 - 1990 United Cerebral Palsy Fellowship
1988 Clarks Fellowship, Columbia University, NY
1986 Best student award, Nair Hospital, Mumbai
1986 Dr. Menino De Souza Award, Nair Hospital, Mumbai
  
Media Appearances
2008 Featured on Primus Notes cover story, Columbia University College of Medicine Publication
2007 Featured on Dental Reports article called "Raising Expectations"
2007 Featured on Star Ledger newspaper article called "Filling a Need"
2007 Featured on NJN TV news story on Special Needs Dentistry
2007 Featured on CBS TV news story on Special Needs Dentistry
2007 Featured on People and Families magazine article called "A Dentist on a Mission"


Publications – Articles and Newsletters

Hernandez P, Kisamore AN. Gradual weaning and oral care management of prolonged breast-feeding based on family preferences, JADA, 2017 Jun;148(6):392-398. doi: 10.1016/j.adaj.2017.01.025. Epub 2017 Mar 11. PMID:28291525

Hernandez, P. Ikkanda Z. Applied behavior analysis: behavior management of children with autism spectrum disorders in dental environments. J Am Dent Assoc. 2011 Mar;142(3):281-7

Hernandez, P. Perspective of a Parent and a Provider for Children with Special Health Care Needs. Pediatric Dentistry 2007; 29: 105-107.

Catalano, C., Hernandez, P., Wolters, P. A child's self-statement – Who am I? Exceptional Parent. April 2002.

Hernandez, P. Early Childhood Dental Care for Children With and Without Special Healthcare Needs. Supertwins Magazine. 2007

Hernandez, P. Common Dental Problem. Supertwins Magazine. 2007





Associate



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Amanda Dewundara, DDS, MPH


Amanda graduated from Columbia University, earning both a Doctorate of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) and Master of Public Health (M.P.H.). She was heavily involved in volunteering in the Washington Heights community, and received the Community Dentistry & Public Service Award for her efforts. She also enjoyed publishing oral health policy research, and lecturing on health disparities and access to care issues. Her unique training has influenced her to develop a holistic practice philosophy, recognizing that optimal oral health requires much more than cavity-free teeth.

She completed her pediatric dentistry specialty training at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein of Medicine in the Bronx, NY. She treated a diverse patient population, delivering care to healthy, disabled, and medically complex children. She understands that applying the most current scientific literature to clinical care results in the best treatment outcomes.

Amanda’s warm, nurturing, and thoughtful demeanor reflects her belief that each child is important. She feels that it is an incredible privilege to work with parents, caregivers, and children in improving health – and she looks forward to serving you.

In her free time, Amanda loves to sing, dance, and practice yoga. (You may even catch her serenading her patients!) She deeply cares about gender equity and equal opportunity, and mentors vibrant middle school girls in Harlem. She is also learning how to cook up a spicy storm in the kitchen, and is always interested in a good book recommendation!