Dental Students' Educational Experiences and Attitudes Toward Treating Patients with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Document Type

Conference Presentation

Conference Title

Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association


San Diego, CA

Conference Dates

April 21-26, 2022

Date of Presentation

Spring 4-25-2022


This research explores final year dental students’ knowledge and attitudes towards the treatment and management of patients with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) as related to variations in the dental training practices in special needs education they received. Correlational analyses of survey responses from two cohorts of students differentially trained reveal that positive relationships exist between having assisted, examined or treated patients with I/DD and students’ confidence levels; between student perceptions of the special needs program and their confidence to treat patients; and between their confidence and willingness to treat patients. Although correlational, this study’s findings suggest ways to foster confidence and induce behaviors by dental school graduates that improve equitable access to healthcare for those with special needs.

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