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ATSU-ASDOH professors develop teaching modules for special needs dentistry

In collaboration with the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, A.T. Still University’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ATSU-ASDOH) faculty members, Mai-Ly Duong, DMD, MPH, MAEd, ’12, and Maureen Perry, DDS, MPA, MAEd, have developed a series of teaching modules for special needs dentistry. The ten modules are free to access, and offer dentists continuing education credits. They were developed in response to a Health Resources and Administration Services grant, titled “Faculty Development in General, Pediatric, and Public Health Dentistry and Dental Hygiene – Addressing the Oral Health Needs of the Underserved.”

The topics of the modules are as follows:

  1. Introduction to treating patients with special needs
  2. Legal and ethical issues in special care dentistry
  3. Learning and intellectual disabilities
  4. Treating people with autism
  5. Introduction to geriatric dentistry
  6. Neuromuscular disorders
  7. Genetic and congenital disorders
  8. Seizure disorders
  9. Approaches to oral disease prevention, treatment, planning, and delivery
  10. Sedation and special care

“These online modules were developed as a free resource for practitioners who want to work with people with various special needs,” says Dr. Perry. “Many dentists who graduated before 2006 may not have had exposure to working with people with special needs, the medically complex, or the vulnerable elderly, as this was not an accreditation standard until then.”

The project is in keeping with ATSU’s commitment to serving the underserved and providing affordable, accessible healthcare for special populations. To access the modules, visit, and create an account.


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