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Oral Health and Behavioral Management of Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder: A 30-year Retrospective Study

J Autism Dev Disord. 2023 Dec 18. doi: 10.1007/s10803-023-06209-x. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: This article aims to determine the oral health status, the dental treatment, the behavioral management techniques, and the follow-up of pediatric autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) patients treated at the Clinic for Pediatric Patients with Disabilities (CPPD) at a public university in Brazil.

METHODS: The medical records of all the patients seen between 1990 and 2020 were evaluated. Data were collected on the autistic patients’ medical and dental conditions, treatments, behavior during dental visits, behavioral management techniques used, and the entire follow-up period at the clinic. The Student’s t-test and chi-square tests were used to perform the statistical analysis (α = 0.05%).

RESULTS: Sixty-six records of ASD children were analyzed from a total of 656 dental records. The majority were male (80.3%). The mean age was 7.39 ± 2.75 years. All the children had a cognitive deficit, and 62.5% used medication. Most of the children arrived with caries lesions (56.1%), and the mean number of decayed, missed and filled teeth in both the deciduous (dmft-d) and permanent dentition (DMFT) was 2.45 ± 3.13 and 0.87 ± 1.51, respectively. The restorative technique was the most commonly used procedure (54.5%), and protective stabilization was the most frequently used behavioral management technique (18.2%). Of the children who sought treatment, 86.4% were discharged, and 15.2% abandoned the procedure. The majority (those discharged) continued to undergo regular follow-up at the clinic (86%), and the incidence of new caries lesions observed was 33.33% Conclusions: Although our ASD patients had a high frequency of caries and dental treatment needs, we observed good adherence to the treatment, with a low dropout rate, and high discharge rate.

PMID:38109033 | DOI:10.1007/s10803-023-06209-x

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