This information aims to provide guidelines for integrating people with disabilities into general dental practice.
Developmental disabilities are permanent cognitive and/or physical impairments that usually occur in the early years of life but can occur anytime before the age of 18 years. Until recently, oral care for people with developmental disabilities was mainly a paediatric concern. With the advances in medical care, people with developmental disabilities and acquired disabilities are now living longer and are more frequently seen in the community than before.
However, '... people with special needs experience substantially higher levels of oral disease' and ' .... have extra barriers to accessing dental care' (Australia's National Oral Health Plan 2004-2013').