Starting in 2020, education will include work with patients with disabilities
This summer, the National Council on Disability (NCD)’s recommendation became a reality, as all U.S. dental schools must now revamp their curricula and training programs to be inclusive of patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD).
The Council on Dental Accreditation (CODA) recently passed votes requiring dental schools to now train their students in managing treatment of patients with ID/DD. Previously, patients with ID/DD were largely unable to obtain dental care treatment because dental students were simply not required to learn to manage their treatment.
“Every dental patient in America deserves the same care, whether or not they have a disability,” said NCD Chairman Neil Romano. “NCD applauds this decision that we view as necessary for people with ID/DD to obtain critical access to dental treatment, which is critical to the total health of all people.”
CODA held and passed four related votes regarding the predoctoral dental, orthodontics, dental hygiene, and dental assistant programs:
- For predoctoral programs and orthodontics programs, dental students must be trained to assess and manage the treatment of patients with “special needs [sic].”
- For dental hygiene programs, students must be competent in providing care to “special needs [sic]” patient populations.
- For dental assistant programs, students must be familiarized with patients with “special needs [sic]” including patients whose medical, physical, psychological, or social conditions make it necessary to modify normal dental routines.
CODA generally defines people with “special needs (sic)” as people with developmental disabilities, cognitive impairment, complex medical problems, significant physical limitations, and the vulnerable elderly.
Changes for the predoctoral dental, dental hygiene, and dental assistant programs are required to take effect by July 1, 2020, with changes to the orthodontics programs required by Jan. 1.
SOURCE: PR Newswire