Seeing patients with intellectual disability is an incredibly rewarding, fun and positive experience as a clinician. It also requires strong clinical expertise, with a good understanding of multiple overlying medical and social factors in a complex oral environment. Individuals with disability are becoming a larger part of the population, as advances in societal-cultural attitudes and medicine have increased the likelihood that people today born with disability survive and live longer. With a global estimated prevalence of 1-3%, general dental practitioners will be seeing patients with intellectual disability in their practices.
Oral health is required if people with intellectual disability are to experience good general health and participate in their communities to the best of their abilities. However they have poorer oral health and greater unmet preventive and treatment needs compared to the general population. With the recent release of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability; National Roadmap for Improving the Health of People with Intellectual Disability, and implementation of the NDIS, it is increasingly important for dentists to be confident in treating this population.
1. Overview of intellectual disability, barriers and improving access to care
2. Communication, consent and decision-making
3. Common systemic and oral conditions, and practical tips for maintaining oral health (spotlight on Down Syndrome)
4. Practical tips for behaviour management and acclimatisation (spotlight on Autism)
Dr Jee-Yun Leung is a Specialist in Special Needs Dentistry passionate about tackling the oral health inequalities faced by those living with special needs. She is a Consultant at Fiona Stanley Hospital, where she sees patients with medical complexities and disability, is a member of the Head & Neck Cancer Multidisciplinary Team, and teaches UWA dental students. She serves on the State Oral Health Advisory Committee of the WA Chief Dental Office. She completed a Masters in Special Care Dentistry at the Eastman Dental Institute, London, a Diploma in Special Care Dentistry (Royal College of Surgeons England), and Doctor of Clinical Dentistry (University of Adelaide). She recently contributed 6 textbook chapters to A Practical Approach to Special Care Dentistry (Wiley-Blackwell 2022).
Dr Lydia See enjoys the challenge of managing patients with complex medical history who require complex oral health management. Her passion extends to community dentistry, with a strong focus on volunteer initiatives aiding those facing social challenges. Lydia has clinical experience in both public and private sectors, hospital dentistry as well as dental education experience. She has lectured, supervised, and examined dental students at various universities. Her postgraduate qualifications are in the areas of special needs and geriatric dentistry, and health professions education. Her current initiatives involve enhancing service delivery in SND, workforce development in caring for individuals with special needs, and researching the application of silver fluoride for this population.