DVD Promotes Oral Health Care of Children with Special Needs

Created by Nebraska UCEDD/LEND/IDDRC

January 25, 2010

Individuals with special health care needs often experience difficulty in gaining access to dental care. "Studies have shown that most dental providers are unable to meet the oral health care needs of this group," said Fouad Salama, DDS, a professor with the UNMC College of Dentistry Pediatric Dental Residency program. "As a result, individuals with special needs have more dental disease than the rest of the population. Thus, it is important that parents and caregivers are given access to educational resources that can prove to be an integral part of oral health care for their child with special health care needs," he said.

Through a grant from the Nebraska Planning Council on Developmental Disabilities, Dr. Salama made an educational DVD that provides oral health information for parents and caregivers as well as for health care professionals who work with of individuals with special needs.

The video was made with the help of Cherie Uchida, DDS, second-year UNMC pediatric dental resident; Brandi Roeber, DDS, recent graduate of the program; Paul Kawacz, video producer with UNMC ITS Video Services; the Munroe-Meyer Institute; and JP Lord School.

The DVD is entitled A Caregiver's Guide to Oral Health Care for Persons with Special Needs. The video chapter shows various positions and oral hygiene techniques being used with individuals with special health care needs. The product demonstrations include a variety of oral hygiene products and instructions on their use, while the slide presentation chapter discusses common oral conditions, adaptive aids, and helpful tips. "We are very excited about the DVD and hope it provides parents and caregivers the necessary tools to meet the dental health needs of their children," Dr. Uchida said.

"As a pediatric dentist, many of our patients have special medical conditions and need alternative methods for ensuring good oral hygiene," Dr. Roeber stated. "We are trained in using such methods; however, other dentists may not be as familiar and comfortable in doing so. This DVD can be useful for the dental community, as well."

"We dedicated this training DVD to all special health care needs children and individuals who contributed to this project. To our knowledge, this is the first educational DVD for individuals with special health care needs, and we are all proud of this accomplishment; hopefully this will bring a positive change to oral health care for individuals with special needs," said Dr. Salama.

For more information about the DVD, contact Dr. Salama at (402) 559-2239.