Oral health disparities in children of color

Deamonte Driver was a 12-year-old African American child from Maryland who died from a tooth infection on Feb. 25, 2007. Ever since his mom was unable to find a Medicaid dental provider in his low socioeconomic status (SES) neighborhood, he has stood as an example for how severe oral health disparities can be for disadvantaged children in the United States, specifically those from a non-white race or ethnicity.

Why we need more dentists treating special needs patients

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) defines a patient with special health care needs (SHCN) as an individual with “any physical, developmental, mental, sensory, behavioral, cognitive or emotional impairment or limiting condition that requires medical management, health care intervention, and/or use of specialized services or programs.” Historically, children and even adults with SHCN have been treated by pediatric dentists because of the behavioral management necessary for many of these patients.