ERIC Number: EJ803031
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jul
Finding the Right Dentist and Other Tips for Accessing Dental Care
Blende, David M.
Exceptional Parent, v38 n7 p30-31 Jul 2008
National health surveys prove that people with disabilities receive fewer routine health examinations, fewer immunizations, less mental healthcare, less prophylactic oral healthcare, and fewer opportunities for physical exercise and athletic achievement than do other Americans. Those with communication difficulties are especially at greater risk for poor nutrition, overmedication, injury, and abuse. U.S. Census data tells that 12 percent of the population lives with a mental or physical disability, and the American Dental Association reports that 15 percent of U.S. citizens are profoundly afraid of dentistry and avoid care. Hence, the size of the challenge: one-fourth of all Americans would benefit from finding a special care dental practice. These are among the many reasons why a person may not have received dental care for a long time. Other reasons include fear, finances, insurance, distance, overarching medical issues, lack of access, social beliefs, avoidance, and even shame. In addition, some people need sedation options that aren't readily available in their city or state. As a special needs dentist, the author believes that all of these challenges can be solved by overcoming the greatest barrier of all: finding a dentist with the skill sets to provide care for people with special needs. Based on over two decades of experience caring for patients and families who present with a variety of clinical, emotional, and physical challenges, the author offers a compilation of 10 practical guidelines to help in finding the right dentist for a loved one with special needs.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A