Due to the medical progress in the past decades, the life expectancy and quality of the physically and/or mentally disabled children have been much improved. While this has facilitated their entry into society, it has also created greater demands on our profession, from those who care for them. A displeasing dental appearance may have a significant emotional impact on an individual's well being and can bias judgments of social acceptability, ability and personality. Gross misplacement of the teeth occurs more often and with much greater severity in the disabled child than in the general population. The increased concern for facial appearance and oral functions has generated an increased demand for orthodontic treatment, but the difficulties imposed by the handicapping conditions have made many practitioners believe that these patients are not amenable to treatment. At the Center for the Treatment of Craniofacial Anomalies in the Orthodontic Department of the Hadassah School of Dental Medicine, Jerusalem we have been treating children with disabilities for several years. An investigation of the referral patterns of our patients has revealed ignorance of dentists, physicians and social workers of what can and may be done to improve the dental and facial appearance of these children. This finding was the principle reason for this article, in which we will show how successful delivery of treatment is possible for many of the disabled.
|Original language||American English|
|Pages (from-to)||42-50, 62|
|Journal||Refuat Hapeh Vehashinayim|
|State||Published - Apr 2001|