Journal of South Asian Association of Pediatric Dentistry

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VOLUME 3 , ISSUE 2 ( July-December, 2020 ) > List of Articles


Barriers for Dentists in Treating Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Nidhi Taneja, Mark D Litt

Citation Information : Taneja N, Litt MD. Barriers for Dentists in Treating Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. J South Asian Assoc Pediatr Dent 2020; 3 (2):65-69.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10077-3055

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 19-04-2021

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2020; The Author(s).


Aim: To investigate barriers in providing dental care for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) for the dentists. Materials and methods: A survey outlining various barriers in treating children with ASD was administered to 109 general dentists. Potential barriers assessed in the survey included: Lack of practice guidelines to manage children with ASD, perceived disruptive behavior of ASD children, and lack of self-perceived competency or time in managing these patients. Results: Seventy-four percent of the general dentists reported treating children with ASD. On average, they treated fewer than three children with ASD per month. The mean number of barriers endorsed by the dentists treating children with ASD was marginally more than those not treating ASD children, and not statistically significant (t = −0.28; df = 107; p = 0.78). Lack of practice guidelines for treating children with ASD was the most common barrier endorsed. Conclusion: The most commonly endorsed barriers to provision of care perceived by general dentists were lack of guidelines for care, lack of sufficient reimbursement for management of ASD children, and difficulty in managing the behavior of ASD children. General dentists, who will be assuming more of the treatment for these children, will need to be better trained to manage the behavioral challenges of children with ASD.

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