Special care dentistry is concerned with treating the oral health of people who have intellectual disability or who are affected by other medical, physical or psychiatric issues. However the patients who need special dentistry care form a diverse group and live in hospitals, secure units or in residential nursing homes. Their additional needs may be due to their impairment or disability or to some aspect of their medical history that affects their oral health. Special Needs Dentists are practitioners that are concerned with the oral health of people severely affected by intellectual or physical disability, experience profound psychiatric or complex medical issues. They provide treatment, which includes assessment, diagnosis, treatment, management and preventive services for people of all ages. To achieve and maintain good oral health, people with mild or moderate oral health disabilities often require a special approach to dental care. With some adaptation of the skills dental professionals use every day, most people with special needs can be treated successfully in the general practice setting. The Special Care Dentistry Association serves as a resource to all oral health care professionals who serve or are interested in serving patients with special needs through education and networking to increase access to oral healthcare for patients with special needs. Many people with intellectual disability also have other conditions such as cerebral palsy, seizure or psychiatric disorders, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or problems with vision, communication, and eating.
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