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[This article belongs to Volume - 26, Issue - 02]

Autism patients and discovering the capabilities of dentists in dealing with them

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder may manifest different behaviors during their checkups due to unusual stimuli inside the dental clinic. The dental practitioner and other staff may encounter difficulty anticipating the success of the treatment if both dentist and patient come unprepared. This study intended to explore the undesirable behaviors of patients with ASD and the challenges encountered through the experiences of dentists. The study used a qualitative case study method which was participated in by five (5) dentists through interviews and five (5) patients through observation. First, it was identified that the uncooperativeness of patients with ASD was one of the undesirable behaviors manifested during a checkup. Second, carrying out dental treatment, handling patients with ASD, communicating with patients, and making patients comfortable add to the difficulty of dentists. Third, the ideal treatment plan will not be implemented if behaviors were not properly addressed. And lastly, receiving training on handling patients with ASD, providing positive behavior support during treatment, and proper scheduling played a significant role in managing the behaviors of the said patients. Hence, it is important to identify the profile of each patient before the start of the treatment so the dentist and his team will be prepared with the necessary management needed. Moreover, preparing the patient with Autism Spectrum Disorder prior to the checkup is significant for managing the child’s expectations of the situation.