Dentists Should Be Seeing Patients with Disabilities, Says Dentist

The Congressional Committee for ADA estimates there 43 million disabled Americans — almost 1 out of 5 people.

In the next 20 years, this number will increase significantly as baby boomers enter later life.

Dr. Steven Perlman, Global Clinical Director for the Special Olympics/Special Smiles Program was quoted as stating that Dental care now represents the number one health issue among people with neurodevelopmental disorders.”

The Wealthy Dentist decided to ask dentists if they treat disabled patients. Of the dentists who responded, 92% said they treat dental patients with disabilities.

Here’s what dentists had to say about treating disabled patients –

“We serve at least three agencies that manage adult special needs patients. Most cannot cooperate for any exam or xrays. We do a visual and HHX, then schedule the patient for a more comprehensive exam with sedation. We triage and stabilize these patients. If there is an excessive amount of treatment to be done, we seek additional funding to take care of the basic, yet essential needs.” (Texas dentist)

“It’s difficult, and often disruptive, but an important service that we can provide with the assistance of I.V. conscious sedation. Without sedation, we would be very limited in what we could accomplish.”
(General dentist)

“We treated disabled patients in dental school (ten years ago). Most of it is experience and compassion rather than training.” (Texas dentist)

“Most should be referred to a dentist who is comfortable with treating these patients as it is very easy to make a manageable patient unmanageable.” (Florida dentist)

“I’ve studied Sign Language and have several Deaf patients. They don’t see themselves as ‘disabled’ but, in order to qualify for government programs, have to label themselves as such.” (Ohio dentist)

“I think the most important part of treating patients with disabilities is to be able to ascertain whether you can or not; and when in doubt, refer out.” (Alabama dentist)

“Under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the change in the CODA so that all graduates must be able to assess the treatment needs of special needs patients, all dentists should be practicing to a standard of care now where all dentists should be seeing patients with any type of disability–would require mandatory CE by the State Boards and Associations at this point to bring older practitioners and some recent graduates up to the standard of care.” (New York dentist)

How is your dental practice treating patients with disabilities?

About Jim Du Molin

+Jim Du Molin is a leading Internet marketing expert for dentists in North America. He has helped hundreds of doctors make more money in their practices using his proven Internet marketing techniques.

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