This website provides information for health care professionals, parents and caregivers to assist them in managing the oral health of children and adults with special needs and disabilities.
» Nationally: 78% of children with special health care needs were reported to need dental treatment and/or an examination in the prior 12 months; a need second only to the need for prescription medicine
» Many individuals with special health care needs, chronic conditions and disabilities do not have access to regular and ongoing dental care.
» Dental disease prevention, keeping teeth and gums healthy, is a team effort of the person, dental and medical professionals, and parents/caregivers. Care of teeth and gums at home, good nutrition and other strategies are important; tips are included in the parent/caregiver fact sheets.
» Stay tuned for the Washington State Department of Health - Oral Health Program monograph with detailed information.
Caring for a special needs patient takes compassion and understanding. While most dentists can accommodate for special needs patients, some dentists focus on meeting the needs and working with the limitations of these patients. If you, your child or someone you know has special needs, talk with your dentist to discuss your options.