Pediatric dental resident's education on children with special health care needs in the United States

Suher Baker, Marc Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To describe pediatric dental residents education as it pertains to children with special healthcare needs (CSHCN). Methods: A web-based survey was administered to 80 program directors of pediatric dental residencies recognized by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD). The survey identified demographic data and education and training methods pertaining to CSHCN. Results: Forty surveys (50 percent) were received from programs in all six AAPD regions. Programs that treated 4,500 patients or less/year were statistically less likely to require a specific assessment and were less likely to use written tests to assess competency treating CSHCN. A specific special needs didactic course (88 percent) and journal articles (85 percent) were the most common didactic training methods. The majority of the programs (69 percent) offered more than 20 hours of didactic education. On average 36.3 percent of the patients treated in residencies reported to be CSHCN and each resident clinically treated and average of 13 CSHCN/week. One-Third of the respondents planned to increase CSHCN education in the next three years. Almost 70 percent of respondents supported the standardization of a national curriculum regarding CSHCN. Conclusions: A wide disparity exists among residencies regarding education related to CSHCN. Most pediatric dental residency directors support the national standardization of CSHCN education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-124
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Dentistry for Children
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017


  • Children With Special Health Care Needs
  • Competency
  • Education
  • Pediatric Dentistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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