This Forum convenes dental practitioners with experience working with children and adults with autism from across Canada, for the purpose of gaining insight into concrete actions that can be taken to improve access and quality of dental care for people with autism.

This series is a collaboration between CASDA and CSDH.

Contact if you would like to participate in the next online forum in July 2020.

Key themes from Forum #1 (May 21st, 2020)

    1. Access to Care
    2. Funding
    3. Education
    4. Advocacy and Awareness
    5. Networking

Click here for the report from Forum #1

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Improved Access to Care

  • Universal access to qualified clinicians/practitioners
  • Adequate number of trained dentists to serve this population with acceptable wait times
  • Multiple clinics in each region that are designated as optimal for persons with spectrum disorders
  • Manage the transition from pediatric clinics to general dentist clinics using the transition documents created by CSDH

Increased Funding

  • Federal funding to allow children and adults with ASD to be seen in private clinics by individuals that have identified that they are willing and educated to treat spectrum disorders
  • Increased funding especially for the adult population, for services under general anesthetic
  • Increased funding for desensitization programs, insurance codes for desensitization, and/or creation of a federally funded desensitization program
  • Cover special needs dental needs under MSP
  • Support for moderate to deep sedation as an alternative to general anesthetic
  • Consistent funding levels regardless of patient age
  • Adopt a case complexity program developed by CSDH with CDA, by aligning complications associated with each case to come up with an adjusted cost per case

Improved Education

  • Update training curriculum with more exposure for students
  • Compulsory 1 year post-grad work with vulnerable groups for graduates from all dental schools
  • Motivate family dentists to seek training to serve this patient population, to improve comfort level among dentists
  • Appropriately train dental auxiliaries to complete the dental team in caring for SN patients
  • New grads to serve some of their time for a specific length of time in situations where patients with SN reside or are seen for oral / dental care
  • More education for all health care providers (including dentists, RDH, PDA, MD, pediatricians, nurses, etc) and parents

Increased Awareness

  • Get developmental physicians onboard from an early stage to help accelerate the process
  • Get pediatricians involved, with a goal for the medical profession to start including oral care from day one

Improved Network of Health Professionals

  • Create a more cohesive system, in which different disciplines work together towards a common goal. Establish a care liaison to make sure the child is linked with a dentist, similar to the link with a therapist. When a child is seeing multiple different health care professionals, greater overlap in their agendas will aid in desensitization.
  • Work with national organizations, e.g. CSDH or CASDA, to help people with special needs access comprehensive services across the lifespan

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