Journal of Dental Hygiene
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can greatly inhibit a child's communication and social interaction skills, impacting their comfort during dental hygiene treatment and services. Children with ASD may exhibit sensory sensitivities, fear of the unfamiliar and lack of socio-cognitive understanding, leading to anxiety and corresponding behavioral deficits. Since the prevalence rates for ASD have risen significantly in the past decade, increased emphasis has been placed on educational and behavior guidance techniques, which can be helpful for children with ASD because of their increased capabilities in visual-processing. The purpose of this literature review is to summarize the interventions available to reduce dental anxiety in children with ASD, and to determine which strategies are best suited for implementation by the dental hygienist. Advancements in technology and socio-behavioral interventions were assessed for appropriate use, efficacy and engagement in the target population. Interventions were categorized into the following groups: picture cards, video technologies and mobile applications.
Original Publication Citation
Elmore, J., Bruhn, A., & Bobzien, J. (2016). Interventions for the reduction of dental anxiety and corresponding behavioral deficits in children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Dental Hygiene, 90(2), 111-120.
Elmore, Jessica L.; Bruhn, Ann M.; and Bobzien, Jonna L., "Interventions for the Reduction of Dental Anxiety and Corresponding Behavioral Deficits in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder" (2016). Dental Hygiene Faculty Publications. 29.