When treating patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) the doctor-patient relationship can be very challenging. The dentist is often forced to work under general anaesthesia or conscious sedation. Children with ASD are patients with an increased risk of caries due to poor oral hygiene, a cariogenic diet and the use of xerostomal drugs. In this work therapeutic strategies used to treat this kind of patients are evaluated and a new method to treat children with ASD is presented in order to increase awareness about this condition in the dental field.
The Atlas Center (a non-profit organisation in Peurgia, Italy) has developed a software, called paINTeraction, that allows these special children to immerse themselves in a virtual reality with the help of an operator. Through this system the child can explore the dental office (and all its sounds and noises) before the real dental visit, thus connecting to the dental professional, achieving greater compliance and reducing anxiety.
The literature shows that performing treatments on ASD patients is complex due to their insufficient cooperation, communication and behavioural difficulties, and hypersensitivity to sensory stimuli.
paINTeraction, with the use of digital technology tools, may be particularly well suited to introduce patients to the therapeutic environment, particularly in the dental setting.
Vol.23 – n.1/2022
Harvard: S. Pagano, G. Lombardo, M. Coniglio, S. Donnari, V. Canonico, C. Antonini, G. Lomurno, S. Cianetti (2022) "Autism spectrum disorder and paediatric dentistry: A narrative overview of intervention strategy and introduction of an innovative technological intervention method", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 23(1), pp54-60. doi: 10.23804/ejpd.2022.23.01.10
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