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Dugoni School Faculty Members Contribute to New Book about Treating Dental Patients with Developmental Disorders

November  30, 2012

Three Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry faculty members have contributed to a new book, Treating the Dental Patient with a Developmental Disorder, focused on caring for dental patients with mental and developmental disabilities. The book provides a comprehensive overview for dental professionals who treat — or may one day treat — patients with disabilities, who often require special care and have specific treatment needs.

Dugoni School faculty members Paul Glassman, Christine Miller and Allen Wong each contributed to a portion of the book. All three faculty members have spent many years working with special needs patients and underserved populations, and thus have much information to share with their dental professional colleagues.

Glassman and Miller jointly penned a chapter focused on preventing oral health problems in patients with disabilities and overcoming obstacles to preventative care. Patients with disabilities often don't understand the importance of a healthy mouth or are unable to perform needed self-care, so guidelines and solutions are offered to help dental professionals work with their patients and patient caretakers to maintain good oral health.

Wong contributed to the book with a chapter focused on hospital dentistry and general anesthesia to help dental professionals better understand when and why dental care is administered in a hospital setting. Occasionally patients with disabilities require anesthesia for dental procedures to ensure the safety of both the patient and dentist. Wong's chapter offers information to help guide dental professionals in their decisions to recommend a patient receive care in a hospital setting.

In addition to the chapter on prevention, Glassman also wrote on the topic of improving oral health of patients with disabilities through community-based programs. Many people with disabilities live or spend time in group settings such as schools, residential facilities and day care settings. Delivering dental care in these types of settings allow for greater access to care for patients and can be done in a setting familiar to the patient.

"Patients with developmental and intellectual disabilities very frequently need special treatment and a specialized approach to their dental care," said Wong. "This book is a great overview for all dental professionals who work with developmentally or intellectually disabled patients."

Treating the Dental Patient with a Developmental Disorder is published by Wiley-Blackwell and edited by Karen A. Raposa and Steven P. Perlman, with a foreword written by Timothy P. Shriver, chairman and CEO of Special Olympics. It will soon be available for sale in the Dugoni School's Student Store via

Category Type: Dental Issues and Research

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