Types of dentists or dental service providers
Some general dentists have experience or interests in catering for children with special needs. You can usually find them via word-of-mouth or ask the clinic directly.
Specialist Paediatric Dentist (Children's Dentists)
All specialist paediatric dentists are trained to manage children with special needs, including children with ASD. Some of them or their teams may have special interests in managing children with ASD.
Dental Hygienist, Dental Therapist, Oral Health Therapist
They are dental operators within the dental team trained in providing oral health education, including advice on dietary factors affecting oral health and maintaining oral hygiene (for example, brushing and flossing techniques), and in providing preventive services which may include professional dental clean, applying fluoride treatment, placing fissure sealants. Most dental/oral health therapists received training in treating children and limit to seeing children. Some therapists are also qualified to carry out other dental procedures under the supervision of a dentist.
Public or Government Dental Service
In Australia, all children are eligible to be seen at a public dental service clinic. Some clinic are open-planned and can be quite noisy, and may not be possible to cater for your child's special needs. However, certain clinics or operators within the public service have special interests or are more suitable to see children with ASD. It is very imprtant to contact your local public dental service clinic to discuss your child's needs prior to the dental appointment.
Hospital-based Dental Service
In many states in Australia, children with special needs are eligible to be seen through the dental department of the children's hosipital for routine services or treatment under general anaesthesia. Talk to your medical practitioners, dentist, or public dental service clinic for more information regarding the eligibility to be seen at the hospital.