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      Dental Service Utilization and Barriers to Dental Care for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Jordan: A Case-Control Study

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          Individuals with disabilities are at higher risk for oral diseases such as caries and periodontal disease. Therefore, regular dental care is essential to maintain oral health. However, individuals with disabilities encounter difficulties in accessing dental care. The challenges and barriers to oral care faced by individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have not been addressed in Jordan. The aim of this study was to examine the use of dental services in individuals with ASD in Jordan and identify barriers that affect their access to dental care in comparison with individuals without ASD. A case-control study was carried out among 296 parents/caregivers of individuals with ASD and individuals without ASD, which involved completion of a self-designed questionnaire. The majority of the participants in both groups had visited the dentist in the year preceding completion of the questionnaire. The main reason for visiting dental services was toothache (43%), and the least common reason was routine checkup (11.6%), with a significant difference ( P < 0.05) observed between the two groups. Barriers including embarrassment (43.5%), a lack of specialized dental staff (28.6%), a lack of knowledge of how to treat people with disabilities (26.6%), and inadequate facilities (34%) were significantly ( P < 0.05) more likely to be reported by individuals with ASD than the controls. In conclusion, knowing and understanding the barriers to accessing dental care could improve overall health for individuals with ASD. Furthermore, recognizing the challenges in accessing dental care for this population could help oral health professionals to minimize these difficulties.

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          Most cited references 20

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          General dentists and special needs patients: does dental education matter?

          Special needs patients are one of the underserved dental patient groups in the United States. This study investigates whether undergraduate dental education about special needs patients affects general dentists' a) professional behavior, b) practice characteristics, and c) attitudes concerning special needs patients. Data were collected from 208 general dentists (178 male/30 female; average age: 49.85 years) who were members of the Michigan Dental Association. The more the respondents agreed that dental education had prepared them well, the more likely they were to treat various types of special needs patients and to set up their practices so they could treat them and the more they liked treating these patients. In conclusion, most general dentists did not think their undergraduate dental education had prepared them well to treat special needs patients. However, the better they reported to have been educated, the more likely they were to treat special needs patients. Given the access to care problems for many special needs patients, it seems crucial to revise dental curricula and provide more didactic and clinical education concerning the treatment of special needs patients.
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            Unmet dental needs and barriers to care for children with significant special health care needs.

            The purpose of this study was to conduct the first known large scale survey of parents of children with special health care needs (CSHCN) to determine their child's: oral health status; access to dental care; perceived barriers (environmental/system and nonenvironmental/family); and oral health quality of life, accounting for each child's medical diagnosis and severity of diagnosis. A 72-item survey was sent to 3760 families of CSHCN throughout urban and rural Massachusetts. The study yielded 1,128 completed surveys. More than 90% of the children had seen a dentist within the past year; 66% saw a pediatric dentist, and 21% needed intense behavioral interventions. Although most families had high education levels, private dental insurance, and above average incomes, 20% of CSHCN had an unmet dental need. Children with craniofacial anomalies had twice as many unmet needs and children with cystic fibrosis had fewer unmet needs. Children with cerebral palsy, autism, developmental delay, and Down syndrome had more aversions to dental treatment, more treatment complications posed by their medical conditions, and more difficulty finding a dentist willing to provide care. Children with cystic fibrosis, metabolic disorders, or hemophilia encountered fewer barriers to care. The data paint a picture of high unmet dental needs with subpopulations of children with special health care needs who are more at risk for system barriers and internal family barriers to care based on their medical diagnoses.
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              Oral care experiences and challenges in children with autism spectrum disorders.

              The purpose of this study was to investigate the differences between children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their typically developing peers in relation to aspects of oral care.

                Author and article information

                Int J Dent
                Int J Dent
                International Journal of Dentistry
                3 August 2020
                : 2020
                1Department of Applied Dental Sciences, College of Applied Medical Sciences, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan
                2Department of Prosthodontics, Faculty of Dentistry, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan
                3Restorative and Prosthetic Dental Sciences Department, College of Dentistry, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
                Author notes

                Academic Editor: Andrea Scribante

                Copyright © 2020 Sabha Mahmoud Alshatrat et al.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Funded by: Jordan University of Science and Technology
                Award ID: 2017/0032
                Research Article



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