Autism Treatment Network Dental Professionals' Toolkit
Many children experience a great deal of anxiety when visiting the dental practitioner’s office, especially those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Feelings of anxiety may be caused by a number of factors including a fear of the unknown, difficulties communicating one’s feelings, and reactions to sensory sensitivities. When children are unable to effectively communicate their feelings of anxiety, they may show uncooperative behavior.
Dentists may rely on a number of behavioral and environmental techniques to help alleviate anxiety and increase cooperation in the dental chair. In this guide designed for dental professionals, we discuss ways to help reduce children’s anxiety levels and increase compliance. It provides general and specific information that may help dental professionals better serve the needs of children with ASD. This tool kit is meant to be used in conjunction with other dental materials developed by Autism Speaks Family Services.