Dental Care for Children with Special Health Care Needs
The Dental Care for Children with Special Health Care Needs Program at Children’s Hospital Boston is currently working in collaboration with pediatricians from Massachusetts General Hospital to examine behavior in children with autism with the goal of improving comfort levels during office visits through the use of visual techniques.
The first part of the study looks at the baseline behavior of autistic children during their initial visit to the dental clinic. The second part of the study has the children divided into different groups. One group of children watches a video at home of what their next dental procedure will entail. A second group of children brings the video with them to their next appointment and watches it on a portable DVD player during their dental procedure. A third group of children also watches the video during the procedure, this time using special glasses that utilize sound and visuals to create a total “video emersion”.
Research is still underway as to which technique improves behavior best in autistic patients.