For children with special health care needs, access to care may be limited.
In the United States, dental care is the most common unmet need in the special needs population.
According to the 1994-1995 National Health Interview Survey, children with special needs are twice as likely to not have their dental needs met.
Families encounter greater difficulty obtaining needed dental care for children with certain diagnoses, including Down syndrome, other forms of mental retardation, cerebral palsy, and autism.
Children with special health care needs may face the following barriers to accessing oral health care:
If a child has numerous medical concerns, families may consider oral health a lower priority.