Dental Management of Autistic Child

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Dental management of autistic child

Autistic disorder (AD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that appears during the first three years of life in which special interaction, language, behavior and cognitive functions are impaired severely. AD is the third most common developmental disability in the United States and almost 400 000 people are affected. AD is not a disease but a syndrome with multiples genetic and nongenetic causes. It is more common in males than females (4:1 ratio).

Practice management in dentistry of autism child is challenging for the dentist and his staff and requires awareness, training as well as from the parents. But one of the articles states that these patients need more familiarity with dental and preventive care that the dental treatment itself. Because caries susceptibilities and prevalence of periodontal disease are not significant different for autistic that nonautistic individuals but compromised oral hygiene can contribute to an increased risk for caries and especially periodontitis in some patients. One of the method to decrease autistic child’s fear and familiarize them with the dental atmosphere call desensitization in order to avoid time consuming before dental procedure. Parent’s involvement plays a crucial role. For example, rehearsals at home prior the dental appointment or training sessions with guided mastery, symbolic video peer modeling, and reinforcement. The results are promising but limitations of manpower, time and money restrict this kind of program.

Secondly the child need several visit to the dental office prior his appointment. This is call slow and gradual exposure same method will be used at the dental chair with the child. Because of their difficulties in communication, highly sensitive to and reactive to and fear of stimuli in dental environment, some unexpected stimuli can occur at the office causing adverse reactions of the child. That’s why a quiet and shielded single...
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