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Connecticut State Dental Association

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CT Dentists Provide Guidance for Dental Patients with Anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder

As April is Autism Awareness Month the Connecticut State Dental Association (CSDA) is providing guidance to ease oral health for people and families who find visits to the dental office more challenging.

As April is Autism Awareness Month the Connecticut State Dental Association (CSDA) is providing guidance to ease oral health for people and families who find visits to the dental office more challenging.

Maintaining proper oral health is a lifetime pursuit, but for some, it can be challenging due to certain sensitivities or conditions, including Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

“One of the best – and simplest – ways to address sensitivities about going to the dentist is to talk to the dentist and dental office staff about it,” said Dr. Gary Linker, CSDA President. “We know some people are nervous about going to the dentist and we’re happy to make accommodations to make them more comfortable.”

Whether it be a fear of going to the dentist, discomfort in new environments, or other challenges, working with the dentist from the start will make it much easier. A healthy dialogue with your dentist means you can call and discuss accommodations before setting an appointment.

“Don’t hesitate to call ahead with questions about the office or to make special requests,” said Dr. Linker. “Dental staff will appreciate your forward-thinking, because it will ease the visit for the patient and the office team.”

“Like anything new, try to start slowly and ease into oral care and visits,” added Dr. Linker.

Patients with anxiety about going to the dentist might be more comfortable if they can visit the office ahead of time, research or view dental equipment beforehand, and meet the staff who will be treating them.

“Oral health is important, so it’s worth taking the time to make dental office visits as easy as possible,” said Dr. Linker. “Remember, dentists are a resource for patients. They’re there to help you with your oral health needs.” 

Thanks to Autism Speaks, there are resources for families and dental team staff alike to help with people with Autism Spectrum Disorder navigate going to the dentist.

If you don’t have a dentist, find one using the CSDA’s find-a-dentist tool at www.csda.com

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