Observation: Center for Pediatric Dentistry – Autism Dental Clinic Description

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Observation: Center for Pediatric Dentistry – Autism Dental Clinic



This partnership of UW and Seattle Children’s provides dental care to children with special needs (especially autism), including:

  • comprehensive dental services to children with autism from toddler to age 21 years

  • quality care with dignity while serving as educators, role models and advocates for patients, families and the community

Resident Role and Expectations

  1. Suggested readings & resources (review abstracts and highlighted sections of journal articles)

  2. Bring questions about any aspect of dental and oral health, dental development or facial growth and development.


Suggested Readings & Resources

  1. Center for Pediatric Dentistry – Children with Special Needs website

  2. Healthy Smiles for Autism – Oral Hygiene Tips for Children with Autism

  3. Oral Health Fact Sheet for Dental Professionals – Children with Autism

  4. Pictures of My Dentists

  5. Brickhouse TH, Farrington FH, Best AM, Ellsworth, CW Barriers to dental care for children in Virginia with autism spectrum disorders. In. vol. 76. Chic: J Dent Child, 2009:188-192.

  6. Rada RE. Controversial issues in treating the dental patient with autism. In: J Am Dent Assoc. vol. 141. United States, 2010:947-953.

  7. Kuhaneck HM, Chisholm EC. Improving dental visits for individuals with autism through an understanding of sensory processing. Spec Care Dentist 2012;32:229-233.


Travis Nelson, DDS, MSD Center for Pediatric Dentistry

Acting Assistant Professor 6222 NE 74th St., Seattle 98115

Center for Pediatric Dentistry

tmnelson@dental.washington.edu (206) 543-5800

Educational Goals

  1. Exposure to challenges and approaches to providing dental services to children with autism

  2. Exposure to preventive modalities in pediatric dentistry including the oral health policy on the use of fluoride from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

Learning Objectives

Medical Knowledge:

Expand knowledge of pediatric oral health for children with autism

Patient Care:

Define roles of the pediatrician in improving oral health of children with autism

Systems-based Practice:

Coordinate care with family in conjunction with dentists who specialize in working with children diagnosed with autism.

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