Developmental disabilities exist in children and adolescents, enabling them to live an independent and self-governing life, requiring special health related services. We are intended to inform dental professionals in planning and implementing a dental treatment for people with developmental disabilities. Cerebral palsy is defined as being a group of motor abnormalities and functional impairments that affect muscle coordination, and characterized by uncontrolled body movements, intellectual disabilities, balance-related abnormalities or seizure disorders. These patients can be successfully treated in normal dental practices, but because they have problems with movements, care must be tailored accordingly. Down syndrome, a very common genetic disorder, is usually associated with different physical and medical problems, intellectual disabilities, and a developmental delay. These patients can be treated with success in dental offices, this way making a difference in the medical care for people with special needs. Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impaired social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication and by restricted and repetitive behavior. Self-injurious behavior, obsessive routines and unpredictable body movements can influence dental care. Because of the coexisting conditions (epilepsy or intellectual disability), one can find this people among the most challenging to treat. There is a need of greater awareness, focus and education in the field of the unique and complex oral health care that people with disabilities need. Making a difference their oral health positively influences an already challenged existence. According to the ethical principles, patients with developmental disabilities should be treated equitably depending on their necessities.
Full text: PDF