Patients with Developmental Disabilities to Be Treated with Dentists
Patients with developmental disabilities find it harder to visit a dentist, especially if they don’t have the courage to do so. They also need to consider how they pay for the dental care, how to get to the appointment, how to tell the dentist about their oral ailment, and how to find a dentist who is trained to deal with their condition.
Around 30 dental health care professionals and students attended Dental Care Approaches for Adults with Disabilities, a continuing education course at the free clinic in Lynchburg. The course tries to address the issues regarding patients with developmental disabilities.
One of the problems regarding the issue is the lack of dental care providers. The course aims to train clinicians to provide comprehensive dental care for patients with disabilities. Dental care for patients with developmental disabilities is different in terms of the time spent with the patients and their need for compassion. Dentists must understand that there is a difference between the person’s developmental age and one’s chronological age.
The course is just one of the three that has been administered by the Virginia Oral Health Coalition in partnership with the Virginia Department of Health across the state this year. The courses were funded by a grant worth $89,000 given by the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities.
It is the first year that the program has been offered by the state. There was a past course that tackled children with developmental disabilities. Lynchburg has been picked as a site for the course because the group wanted to spread the program all throughout the state. One of the courses was held in Richmond and another will be held in Virginia Beach area. Patients don’t have access to dental care due to restrictions in Medicaid. It is not easy to for person with disabilities, especially if they are publicly insured.
Photo by Ruby Zarzyczny [Public domain], undefined