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Community Special Care Dentistry

Special care dentistry 2

Special Care Dentistry is the field of dentistry which specialises in the management of dental care for adults with severe disability, medical or mental health conditions.  

People with impaired understanding, inability to co-operate, touch hypersensitivity:

  • Unable to sit in a dental chair and cope with dental treatment with “Tell – Show- Do” technique

  • May require conscious sedation or general anaesthetic

Examples: Autism, down’s syndrome, dementia

People with reduced mobility, muscle spasm, involuntary movement:

  • Unable to bear their own weight, transfer to a dental chair, maintain stillness

  • May require wheelchair recliner, hoist, transfer aids, support bean bags.

Examples: cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, severe stroke, frail older persons.

People with conditions which increase the risk of dental treatment complications eg. medical emergency, bleeding, infection.

  • May require medical monitoring equipment, sedation and/or treatment in a hospital setting. 

Examples: unstable heart or breathing conditions made worse by stress, severe epilepsy, asthma, blood pressure or diabetes, bleeding disorders.

People with severe and enduring mental health problems.

  • May require experience in managing unusual altered thought, extreme mood or behaviour.

Examples: psychotic illness, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, substance addiction, extreme dental phobia, dementia.

Where is it delivered?

The adult service is provided across the Birmingham, Sandwell, Dudley and Walsall areas. Specialist facilities such as sedation and transfer equipment are available at selected clinics. Facilities for treatment in a hospital setting are available at Queen Elizabeth, Edgbaston, Sandwell Hospital and Russell’s Hall, Dudley.