JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Overcoming the oral aspects of -self-mutilation: description of a method.

BACKGROUND/AIM: Self-injurious behavior (SIB) is a serious and chronic condition frequently seen in special needs populations, affecting 10% to 17% of individuals diagnosed with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. A 2.5-year-old infant with SIB, whose presenting symptoms were severe tongue and lip lacerations accompanied by much hemorrhage, is presented here to illustrate the problem and to show how this may be prevented.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: An appliance is described which effectively limits the damage caused by SIB and permits rapid healing of existing injuries.

RESULTS: The method provides for a stable, retentive, and comfortable device on the infant's undererupted and largely nonretentive crowns of the deciduous teeth as well as for all permanent teeth in children, adolescents, and adults.

CONCLUSIONS: The appliance has been successfully employed for the past 10 years in patients with SIB who have attended for treatment in the Special Needs Clinic in our Department.

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