Author(s): Friedlander AH, Yagiela JA, Paterno VI, Mahler ME
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Abstract BACKGROUND: A paucity of information exists in the dental literature about autism and its dental implications. TYPES OF STUDIES REVIEWED: The authors conducted a MEDLINE search for the period 2000 through 2006, using the term "autism," with the aim of defining the condition's clinical manifestations, dental and medical treatment and dental implications. RESULTS: Autism is a severe developmental brain disorder that appears in infancy, persists throughout life, and is characterized by impaired social interaction, abnormalities in communication (both verbal and nonverbal) and restricted interests. Often accompanying the disorder are behavioral disturbances - such as self-mutilation, aggression, psychiatric symptoms and seizures - that necessitate the administration of multiple medications to help the affected person participate effectively in the educational and rehabilitative process. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Dentists caring for people with autism must be familiar with the manifestations of the disease and its associated features so that they can garner the maximum level of patient cooperation. They also must be familiar with the medications used to treat the associated features of the disorder because many of them cause untoward orofacial and systemic reactions and may precipitate adverse interactions with dental therapeutic agents.
This article was published in J Am Dent Assoc
and referenced in Autism-Open Access