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Autism & Dental Care
Posted on 9/2/2015 by Fariba Mutschler
A recent national Pediatric Dentistry meeting had an excellent speaker, Dr. Cavan Brunsden, DMD, on Autism. Here is some of the material he covered:
•  Autism is a developmental disorder of the brain that has no known cure and usually appears before age 3.
•  Poor social interactions and communication with repetitive behaviors are indicators of Autism.
•  Autistic people have a genetic tendency to be more sensitive to toxins than other people because they cannot easily remove environmental toxins from their bodies.

Diagnosing Autism in dental offices:

•  Poor social interaction by minimal sharing, showing, or pointing?
•  Non-verbal actions like poor eye-to-eye, expressions, and gestures?
•  Poor verbal communication at age-appropriate levels?
•  No make-believe play?
•  Preoccupation with routine, ritual, or repetitive motions such as finger twiddling?

Treating Autistic dental patients:

•  Lots of preparation by showing pictures in the sequence of a typical dental appointment.
•  Be very directive.
•  Be extremely consistent with provider, assistant, chair, flavors, sequence, etc. Follow a routine!
•  Briefly introduce very small changes with frequent steps back to remind them of the routine.
•  They appear to respond well to therapeutic wrapping such as heavy blankets.

Resources for parents:

Autism Speaks
Autism Tools
Learn more about Invisalign® for your teen Learn more about traditional orthodontics at Great Grins for KIDS - Portland Learn more about the friendly children's dentistry at Great Grins for KIDS - Portland

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•  Specializing in dentistry for infants, children, adolescents and special needs patients
•  Affordable payment plans available
•  Accepting new patients
•  Quality care
•  Experienced staff
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•  Sedation Dentistry
•  Comprehensive Orthodontics
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•  Accepts most insurance
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