Oral Health

  • Anne-Frederique Chouinard
  • Jennifer A. Magee
Part of the Current Clinical Psychiatry book series (CCPSY)


A dental visit can be a daunting experience for many people but can be especially difficult for those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), as it presents an unfamiliar environment filled with a large variety of sights, sounds, and smells. Dental anxiety is common among the general population for similar reasons.

To ensure a successful visit for a patient with ASD, the dental provider must be mindful of the environment and work with the patient and caretaker to identify and minimize distractions. A careful history, including a discussion of potential triggers of problem behavior, will help to make the visit successful. Establishment of a “dental home” is crucial for patients with ASD to allow them to gain confidence with an office and providers and to have a familiar place to go if an injury occurs. Additionally, a person with ASD may have a high pain threshold or difficulty expressing their pain and may be unable to communicate the type of pain they are experiencing, making routine examinations important.

In general, the dental needs of a patient with ASD are similar to those of the general population, but potential difficulties in cooperating can make treatment challenging. We will review common oral conditions, examination and treatment considerations, and strategies for addressing treatment challenges for patients with ASD.


Dental Teeth Trauma Oral hygiene Oral health Decay 



We would like to thank Dr. Maria Troulis, Chief of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, for her support and guidance with this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne-Frederique Chouinard
    • 1
  • Jennifer A. Magee
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Oral Maxillofacial SurgeryMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA

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