As a continuation of the Dental Health in Patients with Disabilities discussion, this post is meant to discuss how the most common diseases can and should be treated or prevented.
Dental care protocol in special patients
Dental care for patients with disabilities requires special techniques, equipment, and trained personnel. In some cases, it is necessary to sedate them to perform a treatment. However, general anesthesia is used only when it is not possible to control the person in another way.
The protocol to care for a person with disabilities begins by discussing the patient’s conditions before the visit. The dentist must understand the patient’s condition and the type of treatment required to determine what he will need at the time of care. Communication with the person in charge and the attending physician is essential to know if the patient needs to take any medication before the consultation. On the other hand, the dentist will need to work with an assistant to help reassure him. When treating patients with special abilities, treatments may take longer than usual. All this should be discussed prior to the consultation. In cases in which the patient does not collaborate with the dentist’s attention, the dentist has to use special methods, such as:
In the dental management of patients with disabilities, positive reinforcement is used to shape behavior. That is, they are rewarded if they follow the instructions given by the dentist.
It consists in restricting the total or partial mobility of the patient. In this way, the dentist can work without problems and prevents the person from an injury. Usually limb movement is limited, but sometimes the head and the body are also restricted. To use this method, the consent of the patients responsible is necessary.
Prescribe medication before treatment
When the patient suffers from anxiety or stress at the dentist’s office, some medication can be prescribed to calm him.
Oral health care starts from home, so you have to follow a hygiene routine. A responsible guardian should take care of brushing their teeth regularly. If it is not possible, then whoever is in charge should do so. Babies have to clean the gums with a wet gauze and start brushing them with a soft brush when the first teeth appear. To prevent the appearance of caries, avoid eating foods with sugars.
Moreover, you have to choose a toothbrush that is adapted and easy to hold, either by the patient or the person in charge. Toothpaste, on the other hand, must have fluoride and be antibacterial. The use of mouthwash is also recommended. It is important to follow the dentist’s instructions and ask any questions you have regarding the patient’s oral hygiene. Following these recommendations, you can take care of dental health in patients with disabilities. In their condition, they need a lot of help and communication so they can show off their best smile and as responsible members of the society, we should all take care of our disable brothers and sisters to the best of our efforts.