JOURNAL ARTICLE

Access to special care dentistry, part 6. Special care dentistry services for young people

A Dougall, J Fiske
British Dental Journal 2008 September 13, 205 (5): 235-49
18791579
This article brings together some of the 'hidden disabilities' common amongst adolescents and young adults. Many of these conditions carry a social stigma and some are associated with secretive behaviour and even denial. The article will describe the features, management and oral implications of five eating disorders (Prader-Willi syndrome, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder and pica) and three types of mental health problems (schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder and bipolar disorder). Without the input of the dental profession, and in the main the primary dental care service, all these conditions can have a detrimental effect on the dentition at a relatively early stage in life. Mental health problems are more common in adolescents and young adults than most people realise and this article will also consider the impact on oral health and delivery of dental care to young people who have experienced childhood sexual abuse.

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