CDA Essentials 2016 • Volume 3 • Issue 7 - page 19

Volume3 Issue7
ssues and
thought leaders series
Whatwillbe thebiggestdevelopments inspecialcaredentistry?
I think thebiggest developmentwill be thatwecanequipgeneral dentistswith the skills,
attitudes andconfidence tobeable toprovidecare formost peoplewithdisabilities. Special
caredentistry shouldn’t beparticularly special. It’spart of anewapproach toprovidingcare
indentistry,which ispatient-centred, according to individualized riskandneeds, anduses
the full rangeofwhatweare trained for: riskassessment, communicationandbehavioural
Two things thatwillequipdentists toovercome theirreluctanceor fear to treat
(1) Peoplewill havebetter rolemodelsbecause special caredentistrywill bebetter
integratedwithin society.We’ll just get used todiversitybeing farmorevisible inour society
andour professional skillswithgoalongside that. (2) Legislationwillmean that providing
care topeoplewithdisabilitieswill bepartofmeetingourprofessional requirements. This isn’t
about charity. This isequity. This isprofessionalism. And this ispartof ourprofessional duty.
Priorities inspecialcaredentistry?
Preventivecare. Sometimespeoplewithdisabilitieshavedifficultymaintaining their
dentitionand thisputs themat agreater risk for oral disease. Soevidence-basedpreventive
measuresmight need tobeapplied inalternativeways, suchasworkingwithpeoplewith
autism tohelp themacclimatise to thedental environment and toeliminatepredictable
triggers that canmakeadental visitmorechallenging for them.
Whatdo thenext10yearshold
for special caredentistry?
As part of ourThoughtLeaders Series, we posed this question toDr.AlisonDougall, clinical
consultant in special care dentistryatDublinDentalUniversityHospital anddirector of the
doctorate programme in special care dentistryatTrinityCollegeDublin, Ireland. She is alsoan
editorwith the InternationalAssociation forDisabilityandOralHealth (iADH).
There is still a fear factorwhen it comes to
treating peoplewithdisabilities and that
perhaps is the biggest challenge to overcome.
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