Points Of Light

Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN)

The key to successful outcomes in oral health care for Children with Special Health Care (CSHCN) is the implementation of primary and comprehensive prevention. While all populations of children will benefit from the early establishment of a ‘Dental Home’, perhaps none will benefit as much as CSHCN.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry defines special health care needs as “any physical, developmental, mental, sensory, behavioral, cognitive, or emotional impairment or limiting condition that requires medical management, health care intervention, and/or use of specialized services or programs. The condition may be developmental or acquired and may cause limitations in performing daily self-maintenance activities or substantial limitations in a major life activity. Health care for individuals with special needs requires specialized knowledge, increased awareness and attention, adaptation, and accommodative measures beyond what are considered routine.”

CSHCN are at increased risk for oral diseases. Oral diseases can have a direct and devastating impact on the health of those with certain systemic health problems or conditions. Therefore, it is always desirable to establish coordinated, ongoing, accessible, comprehensive oral health care by age 1.

If you are a physician interested in promoting Points of Light project to your patients, contact us through this website or your state academy to obtain promotional materials.  If you are a dentist interested in accepting CSHCN in your practice, register on this website and check the appropriate box.