Taking all children and even some adults to the dentist can be a very stressful experience. For those parents and caregivers who have a child with an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) these appointments can be even more traumatic. Taking adult and children with ASD to the dentist can trigger large amounts of anxiety, which is understandable. Mouths are extremely sensitive places and for a person with an ASD someone putting cold instruments into their mouth could be very painful. In addition, the noise of the drills and cleaning instruments could be a problem. We will need help from the parents or caregiver to get ASD patient to get familiar with the dentist office. It can be through role play at home by breaking down the visit using visual supports. It may be useful to try and produce a sequence of pictures or photos to show the stages of going to the dentist. This allows you to explain the different steps so they know what is coming next and when it is finished. It is their lack of understanding that makes them nervous like everyone else who visit a foreign place. The important thing is to get them in for a dental visit. They need to be stress and point out the importance of having healthy teeth and gums and the consequences of not having regular dental appointments. Dr. Pham and her team experience in treating patients with autistic spectrum disorder are extensive. We have many cases of ASD patients, children and adults alike. The treatment will be easier if the patient get gradually accustom to the dental office thru regular dental cleaning which is less stressful. But most of the ASD patient we see initially required comprehensive dental work because these individuals receive psychotropic medications which can cause Xerostomia (dry mouth) and they have a known desire for sweet foods. Therefore, these patients are at increased risk for increased dental caries and periodontal disease. We have much success with ASD patient because we are experience and anticipate the situations that might create emotional or physical discomfort.

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