They stole her teeth! An exploration of adults with developmental disability experiences with dental care

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid


Purpose:The aim of this paper was to explore the experiences of adults with developmental disabilities (AWDD) in accessing and utilizing dental services in Vancouver, BC.Methods:Participants were either self-advocates or parents/caregivers who discussed their experiences in five focus group discussions with 20 participants in total (age range 17–60 years, 2 males). Each focus group lasted on average 40 minutes. Transcripts were coded for thematic analysis; the codes were organized into themes and finally into domains.Results:Seven domains relating to the participants' experiences with dental care were identified, and included communication, trust, and respect as provided-based domains to the quality of the dental experience for AWDD and their parents, while financial issues, transitional services, and waiting times were system-based barriers to access to dental care for theses AWDD. Finally, what makes for a positive dental experience was shared in terms of acknowledging parent's role as advocates and making simple accommodations to see AWDD by the dental office.Conclusions:Access to a care provider did not necessarily equate to satisfaction with quality of experience. Efforts have to focus on establishing communication and trust with AWDD patients as key to a positive dental experience. We encourage a global discussion on the need to better incorporate dental care for special needs individuals within dental school curricula.

    loading  Loading Related Articles