October 21, 2019
Making Dental Care Accessible
by Amber Carlton
Studies show that oral health is an important part of maintaining overall health. But for people with disabilities, finding accessible dental care can be a real challenge and may lead to them forgoing routine visits to the dentist.
The need for accessible dental practices was brought to light during a series of focus groups conducted by The IC to gain an understanding of real-life experiences with dental care. The results were compiled into a report titled, “Creating Disability-Friendly Dental Practices.” Download the report at http://bit.ly/dentalreport-ic.
The report shows that people with disabilities face many obstacles to obtaining accessible dental care, including transportation or parking issues, narrow or small offices, denial of American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters, inaccessible paperwork, confusion about medical instructions, trauma triggers, and negative attitudes about disability.
To address this issue, The IC, through its IC Fund, has awarded $75,000 worth of accessible dental equipment to five local dental practices, two of which are nonprofits, in the Pikes Peak Region this year. Selected practices received a wheelchair lift, medical masks that allow patients to read lips, and other tools and resources that can make the experience of going to the dentist easier and more comfortable for people with disabilities.
To view the recipients of the equipment, CLICK HERE.