Symposium for dental treatment of medically complex children: Practice based culminating experience a continuing education course

Ayman Bizra, The University of Texas School of Public Health


The purpose of this Continuing Education Course is to provide oral health professionals with information to address the unique dental needs of medically complex children. The objective is to train dentists to treat special needs patients so these children have more access to oral healthcare. Under the auspice of Dell Children Hospital of Austin, Lisa Jacob DDS MS is administering this Continuing Education Course for dentists and dental staff from the 46 counties of central Texas served by the hospital. Needs assessment was determined through a survey questionnaire to collect data about the number of special needs patients seen by general dentists in Central Texas. In recent years, an increasing number of continuing education courses have been developed to help dentists learn techniques for providing dentistry in more understanding ways to patients with special needs. Dentists and dental staff are trained to provide care specifically in dentistry, regardless of who the patient is. This means dentists can perform a clinical examination, carry out procedures to diagnose and treat oral diseases, and provide restorations such as fillings and crowns. Four prominent speakers will provide an instructional tool to address the need for dentists to increase their competence and comfort level in caring for individuals with developmental disabilities. Each speaker will address one of the most frequently encountered cases of medically complex children. The four topics selected by Dr. Lisa Jacob are Cancer, Mental Disability, Downs Syndrome, and Craniofacial Syndromes. The public health implications of this continuing education course are presented in providing dental service to this underserved population. When general dentist turn away patients with special needs because of lack of knowledge to treat them, these patients will, more than likely, postpone or abandon needed dental visits because of difficulties reaching pediatric dentists who may not be available in certain areas.

Subject Area

Dentistry|Public health

Recommended Citation

Bizra, Ayman, "Symposium for dental treatment of medically complex children: Practice based culminating experience a continuing education course" (2010). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1474857.