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Treating Patients with Autism in a Dental Setting


Josalyn Sewell, RDH

Credit Hours:

3 Hour(s)


This course will give all team members a better understanding of Autism and prepare professionals for the rewarding experience of helping these patients. Autism affects 1 in 54 US children. It is more common than pediatric AIDS, diabetes, a...

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This course will give all team members a better understanding of Autism and prepare professionals for the rewarding experience of helping these patients. Autism affects 1 in 54 US children. It is more common than pediatric AIDS, diabetes, and cancer combined. Individuals with autism have difficulties with communication, social interaction and sensory processing. These characteristics pose very unique challenges in a dental setting.

This continuing education course begins by answering very basic questions about autism: what is autism, how is it diagnosed, and what will it look like in a dental setting? A large section is dedicated to communication and sensory processing difficulties as these pose the most challenging difficulties for professionals who have never worked with patients on the spectrum. The oral health section includes what oral conditions are associated with autism with recommendations of how to handle a dental appointment, how to help the patient prepare for the appointment, how to use basic behavioral strategies to increase compliance and understanding, and lastly recommendations on products the author has found useful in working with patients with autism.

  • Intended Audience:

    Dentists, Dental Hygienists, Dental Assistants, Dental Students, Dental Hygiene Students, Dental Assisting Students

  • Date Course Online:

    Sep 3, 2013

  • Last Revision Date:

    Aug 18, 2020

  • Course Expiration Date:

    Aug 17, 2023

  • Cost:


  • Method:


  • AGD Subject Code(s):


Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the dental professional should be able to:

  • Define autism spectrum disorder.
  • Create a sensory friendly office.
  • Develop an office protocol for patients with autism.
  • Utilize a visual schedule.
  • Implement basic behavior modification techniques to help individuals with autism behave appropriately in clinical setting.
  • Increase understanding of the disorder and accompanying behaviors.


  • P&G is providing these resource materials to dental professionals. We do not own this content nor are we responsible for any material herein.
  • Participants must always be aware of the hazards of using limited knowledge in integrating new techniques or procedures into their practice.  Only sound evidence-based dentistry should be used in patient therapy.

Note:  Registration is required to take test.


Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement

  • The author reports no conflicts of interest associated with this course.
Josalyn Sewell

Josalyn Sewell


Josalyn (Josey) Sewell, RDH is the Co-Founder of JoyFULL People and JoyFULL Business, an organization that transforms businesses by elevating people to their highest and best purpose. As an autism mom Josey is passionately dedicated to makin...

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Submission Information

Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) Submission For credit transfers to appear in your AGD account in real time, make sure to add your AGD membership number in the field provided on the “Share Your Test Score” page.

CE Broker For all states that use CE Broker for licensure, “proof of completions” are electronically reported the first of every month. If a course was taken in November, the “proof of completion” will be submitted the beginning of December.



ADA CERP Recognized Provider

The Procter & Gamble Company is an ADA CERP Recognized Provider.

ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of continuing dental education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry.

Concerns or complaints about a dental CE provider may be directed to the provider or to ADA CERP at

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Approved PACE Program Provider


Nationally Approved PACE Program Provider for FAGD/MAGD credit.

Approval does not imply acceptance by any regulatory authority or AGD endorsement.

8/1/2021 to 7/31/2027

Provider ID# 211886


AADH Approved Program Provider

Procter & Gamble is designated as an approved Provider by the American Academy of Dental Hygiene, Inc. #AADHPGC (January 1, 2022-December 31, 2023). Approval does not imply acceptance by a state or provincial Board of Dentistry. Licensee should maintain this document in the event of an audit.