Born and raised in New Jersey, Jessica Listwa is the middle child and a sibling of a sister with cerebral palsy and intellectual disability. Her sister's special needs fueled her passion to help this community and is now a pediatric dentist in the central/northern Jersey area.
She received her Doctor of Dental Medicine Degree from University of Pennsylvania. She completed her Pediatric Residency at the University Of Connecticut School Of Dental Medicine/Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. As dental care is extremely difficult for this population, her aim was to be a dentist that can at least help and treat the special needs population in her community.
After discovering the lack of resources and information on oral health for this community, Jessica founded a website (exceptionalsmiles.org) dedicated to helping families and caregivers of someone with special needs navigate oral health and hygiene techniques and issues. Currently, she is getting more involved with the special olympics special smiles campaign in NJ to help the special olympics athletes with their oral health needs.