web analytics
October 1, 2014 / 7 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Dentistry for Special Needs


A recent study from the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine found that people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities are more prone to dental disease than the general population and that further research is required to identify effective interventions.

The study, based on the electronic dental records of 4,732 patients who receive dental care from Tufts Dental Facilities Serving Persons with Special Needs, found that even when provided with access to care, some individuals are unable to tolerate complex dental procedures, which compounds the problem.

By sensitizing children with special needs to dental and other medical procedures, some practitioners are able to implement best practices at an early age, eliminating the costly need to perform routine dental cleanings in hospitals while under anesthesia.

***

Children with special needs have higher rates of poor oral hygiene, gingivitis, and periodontal disease than the general public. According to the Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health, parents identify preventive dental care as the most prevalent of these children’s unmet health care needs.

Most dentists are unwilling to treat youngsters with special needs because they lack the necessary training. Low Medicaid reimbursement rates create another barrier to care.

This is a typical case: A year ago, no one could have imagined that Joel would be able to sit in a dentist chair.

The 10-year-old, who has an autism spectrum disorder, has benefited from a sensory integration and desensitization program from a team of professionals at Premier HealthCare (PHC), a member agency of YAI.

Joel really isn’t that different than most children. Just the thought of a dental visit increases his anxiety. Even walking by a dental room upset him. In the past, he had to be anesthetized or wear a restraining device to limit his movement in the dentist’s chair.

“Working with children with special needs early on is really going to help in the long run,” said Dr. Beth Diviney, Ph.D., BCBA, is a Behavior Consultant who is part of a multi-disciplinary desensitization team at PHC which has had success working with special needs children at an early age.

“We’ve seen that after they observe a sibling or peer sitting in a dental chair, and then learning what the routine is and what the expectations are . . . they are gradually willing to do what needs to be done to tolerate a procedure without the use of restraint or medication. We make it fun.”

The desensitization program is tailored to the individual patient. A comprehensive assessment identifies psycho-social history, abilities, skills set, fears and potential sensory issues. Observation is another critical component, especially if the child is non-verbal. The team develops a strategy and formulates a plan before implementation begins.

“Sensory integration calms the patient down,” said Abigail Tayamen-Macatangay, OTR/L, Supervisor of Occupational Therapy at PHC. “Knowing that Joel responds to sensory stimulation has helped us make the experience of going to the dentist, less frightening.”

An OT Assistant worked with Joel for over a year. She would bring Joel to an OT Treatment Room prior to his dental appointment. She found that putting on a weighted vest and rocking on a therapy ball comforted Joel. He also would squeeze some putty or a handball. Joel perceived the occupational therapy as fun and he felt safe with OT in the familiar treatment room.

After months of sensory integration, Joel moved from the OT room to just outside the dental room. He rocked on a therapy ball and he had a favorite puzzle to ease his anxiety. Later, the therapy ball was moved inside the dental room. While Joel was initially frightened by the chair, he finally sat on the edge of the chair after a string of sensory lights were placed around his shoulders and in his lap.

Eventually, Joel sat in the dental chair with the dentist and her assistant in the room. He tolerated the instruments and even seemed to enjoy the vibrating sensation in his mouth. Of course, it was comforting for him to know that his OT Assistant was just a few steps away.

Dr. Sun Won was then able to give Joel a mild dental cleaning, thanks to the team approach.

“I never thought I’d see him in the chair; it was such an ordeal,” she added. “He didn’t want to be there.”

About the Author: Dr. Chrystalla Orthodoxou, Chief of Dentistry for Premier HealthCare, has over 15 years experience treating individuals with developmental disabilities. She has developed and implemented the use of desensitization and behavior techniques to help children and adults patients with special needs. She has lectured extensively on using these techniques to deliver quality dental care to patients with severe anxiety, phobias, and sensory processing disorders. She currently serves on the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities Task Force for Specialty Care Dentistry and is a clinical faculty member of the dental department at North Shore Long Island Jewish Hospital.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “Dentistry for Special Needs”

  1. Bonnie Kimpling-Kelly says:

    After two unsuccessful visits to the dentist, I read social stories to my son about going to the detist daily for a month before his next appointment.When we got there and he got to the chair, he said, "Now Mommy, you go wait in the waiting room"! Then when the dentist called me in to see his cavity, my son points to the waiting area, "ok, Mom, waiting room". SUCH a difference!

  2. Bonnie Kimpling-Kelly says:

    After two unsuccessful visits to the dentist, I read social stories to my son about going to the detist daily for a month before his next appointment.When we got there and he got to the chair, he said, "Now Mommy, you go wait in the waiting room"! Then when the dentist called me in to see his cavity, my son points to the waiting area, "ok, Mom, waiting room". SUCH a difference!

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu meets with US President Barack Obama at the White House, Oct. 1, 2014.
Netanyahu, Obama Meeting at White House
Latest Sections Stories
Israeli winery

“You want to know what this wine looked like, which wine King David drank, white or red…. We can see if it’s red or white, strong or weak.”

Mindy-092614-Choc-Roll

I should be pursuing plateaus of pure and holy, but I’m busy delving and developing palatable palates instead.

Schonfeld-logo1

Brown argues that this wholehearted living must extend into our parenting.

If we truly honor the other participants in a conversation, we can support, empathize with, and even celebrate their feelings.

I witnessed the true strength of Am Yisrael during those few days.

She writes intuitively, freely, and only afterwards understands the meaning of what she has written.

“I knew it was a great idea, a win-win situation for everyone,” said Burstein.

Not knowing any better, I assumed that Molly and her mother must be voracious readers.

“I would really love my mother-in-law …if she weren’t my mother-in-law.”

For each weekly reading, Rabbi Grysman begins with a synopsis of the Torah portion, followed by a focus on a major issue.

It’s Rosh Hashanah. A new year. Time for a fresh start. Time for a new slate. Time for change.

Governor Rick Scott visited North Miami Beach/Aventura on the morning of Wednesday, September 17.

While the cost per student is higher than mainstream schools, Metzuyan Academy ESE is a priceless educational opportunity for children with special needs in South Florida.

Challah-pa-looza helped get the community ready and excited about the upcoming Jewish New Year.

More Articles from Dr. Chrystalla Orthodoxou

A recent study from the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine found that people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities are more prone to dental disease than the general population and that further research is required to identify effective interventions.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/health/dentistry-for-special-needs/2013/04/04/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: