Resesrch Suggest that Dental Desensitization Programs Can Help Children With Autism

Resesrch Suggest that Dental Desensitization Programs Can Help Children With Autism

Seattle, USA: The University of Washington conducted a study that has suggested desentization programs, including repeated visits, could help children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) receive neeeded dental care. The researchers look at the effectiveness of a dental desensitization protocol for children with ASD and determined characteristics associated with a successful examination.

Dr. Travis Nelson, lead author of the study and clinical associate professor in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at the university said that children with autism are less likely to receive dental care than their developing peers. In many cases, this is due to behavioral limitations. The researchers found that the majority of patients with autism in the study were able to sit for an examination with a dental mirror. 

168 children with ASD participated in a university based dental desensitization program. The researchers performed a retrospective review of their clinical behavioural data and pre-visit questionnaires. According to the study, more than 77 percent of children were able to receive an examination within one to two dental visits with desensitization protocols and 88 percent within five visits. 

Desensitization was able to achieve a minimal examantion while seated in a dental chair for most children. Those with milder characteristics of ASD were more likely to be able to undergo successful dental examinations.  

The protocols that were used were very simple and could be implemented elsewhere to help children with autism access needed dental services, said Dr. Nelson.

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