The population of dental patients who need special-needs care is growing dramatically. While predoctoral dental programs are incorporating more curriculum that allow students to treat special-needs patients, they still have a long way to go to develop competent practitioners.
ASDA continues to highlight special populations as part of its National Outreach Initiative. In the fall, we are highlighting the treatment of patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This is a personal account of how treating patients with special needs can make a difference.
Growing up in a household with a Special Education teacher exposed me to some of the most amazing people, but also the great challenges they face each and every day. From children to the elderly, special needs encompasses people of all ages and touches their lives in many different forms. Yet, regardless of the extent of their condition, special needs patients still have the same needs as you and me when it comes to oral health care.