People with physical disabilities may also have a harder time taking care of their oral health because oral hygiene practices can be more difficult and it may be more difficult to go to the dentist for routine cleanings. Everyone should be able to receive dental care. However, some people need special facilities or services to receive this care. People with physical disabilities may have trouble accessing surgery or even the dental chair.
People with learning disabilities may become too anxious at the thought of going to the dentist, or they may need more peace of mind. People with serious medical problems may need extra precautions or care. Dental teams can consider all of these aspects when providing dental care. FOR BOTH CHILDREN AND ADULTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS, dental care can be a challenge.
In some cases, limited coordination can make it difficult to brush and floss. In other cases, there may be less access to professional care. Some patients may also experience high levels of anxiety. While poor nutrition is not a direct cause of periodontal disease, many researchers believe that the disease progresses more rapidly and is potentially more severe in people whose diets lack certain nutrients.
The local Community Dental Service or some health centers will also help people who need specialized care and may be able to offer possible treatment alternatives, such as sedation or general anesthesia. Children with learning disabilities or other medical conditions may be referred to a specialized dental service by their doctor or dental team. Simple habits can reduce dental risks, especially when it's difficult to take care of them thoroughly on a daily basis. When you have a disability or special need, keeping up with daily dental care or finding a dentist who can address your needs can be a challenge.
Conditions that may require special considerations when providing dental care include cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorders, Down syndrome, muscular dystrophy, seizure disorders, visual and hearing impairments, and learning disabilities. It is the safest and easiest form of sedation and often the most suitable for both children and people with special needs. Many dentists can care for patients with disabilities, and some dentists make special needs dentistry a focus of their practice. Special treatment may be available to the National Health Service (NHS) or it may need to be paid for privately, depending on the office.
It's especially important to maintain the basic principles of good dental hygiene (brushing your teeth, flossing, and regular visits to the dentist). Finding the right dentist is important for everyone, especially for those whose conditions require special care during dental treatment. The local dental society and some patient advocacy organizations (such as Autism Speaks) may have lists of dentists who specialize in caring for people with disabilities.