It can be very difficult to find good dental care for patients with autism. Many dentists do not have the proper training or experience to handle autistic patients. Depending on the severity of the condition, the patient may be unable to cooperate with treatment or communicate effectively.
Because it is difficult for autistic individuals to get treatment, they are at high risk for dental disease. According to a 2012 study in the Journal of the American Dental Association, 32% of patients with developmental disorders had untreated cavities, and 80% had serious gum infections.
Often, sedation is the only way that an autistic patient can sit still during a dental appointment. Fortunately, some dentists do offer this option, such as Dr. Shervin M. Louie.
Shervin M. Louie, Dentist to the Stars
Dr. Louie has been practicing in Los Angeles since 1996, and is known as the “Dentist to the Stars” for his high volume of celebrity patients. His practice offers sedation dentistry for general patients, and for adults with autism.
Dr. Louie’s credentials include over twenty years of experience. From 1996-2006, he taught at the University of Southern California School of Dentistry. He is particularly recognized for his exceptional work in cosmetic and implant reconstruction dentistry.
Sedation Dentistry for Autistic Patients
Sedation is most often used for patients with a phobia of visiting the dentist. For autistic patients, this phobia can be magnified. The combination of unfamiliar surroundings, the noise from dental tools, and the dental work itself can make autistic patients agitated and stressed.
A responsible dentist such as Dr. Louie will always recommend the minimum amount of sedation necessary for each patient. In the case of autistic patients, Dr. Louie will take into account their age, motor ability, communicative skills, physical health, and emotional state.
Sedation is administered through several means. Inhaled sedation involves breathing nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, through a mask placed over the patient’s face. For oral sedation, the patient takes a pill that makes them groggy. Finally, IV sedation is administered directly into a vein, so it takes effect more quickly.
Visit Dr. Louie for Sedation Dentistry in Los Angeles
Dr. Louie does not perform pediatric dentistry at his practice. However, all adults are welcome, including those with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
A loved one should always be present to assist an autistic patient. There are many ways that parents, spouses, and caregivers can make an autistic patient more comfortable, such as taking them on a tour of the office before the appointment and bringing a familiar item such as a book or memento.
Dr. Louie is proud to offer dental care to this vulnerable portion of the population. Autistic patients have access to the dental care they need at the office of Shervin M. Louie, DDS.