The Canadian Society for Disability and Oral Health (CSDH) was established in London, Ontario, and incorporated as a Not for Profit Society on November 26, 2019.
Our current Board of Directors, who are all volunteers, includes 3 paediatric dentists, a registered dental hygienist, two general practitioners and a dental student representative.
Currently we have over 180 members including dentists, hygienists, assistants, and students.
The Society’s aim is to bring all Canadian oral healthcare providers, under one umbrella.
Our Bylaws are all-inclusive, meaning membership is open to all dental office personnel and all other oral healthcare providers, including physicians, nurses, personal service workers and anyone else involved in the care of individuals with special needs.
As the Canadian Component Society of the International Association for Disability and Oral Health (IADH) (iadh.org), the IADH provides CSDH members access to their resources and the ability to network globally as we collaborate to achieve our shared missions.
The Society strives to make membership affordable with a $60.00 Canadian annual membership fee. Student membership to the CSDH only is free while they are enrolled in their educational programme.
In addition to creating educational resources, and offering mentoring and networking opportunities to its members, a major benefit of joining CSDH is that members will be able to register to join the iADH at no additional cost. Through this benefit, CSDH members have access to numerous additional benefits (see iadh.org).
The Purpose of the CSDH is to promote, preserve and protect the oral health of people with disabilities.
Other aims include, to:
-advocate for those people who cannot advocate for themselves with respect to accessing oral health care providers and the necessary oral care they require.
-share knowledge (through educational meetings, mentoring, dental education and other measures) and to work closely with other organizations and regulatory bodies to assist them to develop and establishing their own guidelines and policies within their organizations to increase the awareness and the serious need for the provision of oral care for the SN patient population.
-“initiate the support and advancement of teaching and education for all health and related disciplines in oral health care for people with a Disabling Condition” by starting at the undergraduate level of dental education for all oral health professionals
Historically but not uniquely, Paediatric dental offices have dealt with patient with special needs for many years, often well into their adulthood.
However, adult patients whether they have special needs or not, have adult dental needs that often go beyond the scope of treatment provided by paediatric dental office personnel or, they may just require ongoing regular care. Family or general dental personnel can and should be able to a certain degree fulfill these needs. If this does not happen to be the case, this is where the need for further education comes in.
All our oral health goals must focus on prevention, and evaluation of outcomes from services and activities provided, along with providing information and direct planning of oral health care services for people with disabilities.
We want you to know that “the CSDH is here to provide the tools for taking that first step. We are here for “you”, all oral health care providers, to aid in improving the quality of life and oral health of patients, of all ages, with special needs.
Our young, but growing Society has not been sitting still during these challenging times.
So far with the generous assistance of Dr. John O’Keefe of the CDA, we have recently completed two webinars: one on pain assessment and the other related to communicating with the SN patient. Thursday the 30th of June, we taped a webinar with information regarding Cleft Lip and Palate patients. This will be available for viewing on the CDA/Oasis and our website very soon.
We are now aligned with The Canadian Special Olympics Society providing the ability to share resources and information and have a memorandum of Understanding in place.
We have completed the first of our Forums with the Canadian Autistic Spectrum Disorder Alliance (CASDA), gathering and collating data relevant to fulfilling the oral health needs of this patient population. A follow-up Forum was recorded on July 22, 2020.
We have developed Transition Tools and Case Complexity documents with the Canadian Dental Association (CDA) which are currently under review before being released. The hope is to have these available by September, along with all the appropriate supplemental educational material.
We welcome submission of topics that can be prepared for presentation.
Given the extent of oral health inequity experienced by people with Special Health Care Needs, it is imperative that regulatory bodies and professional organizations at all jurisdictional levels act to develop local oral health goals for this patient population in the context of their own communities, which might then in a collaborative way be applied on a national level.
In this regard we are asking all of you, as dedicated oral health care providers from across this great country of ours, to consider joining our Society and working with us to make a different. Come be part of fulfilling our objectives.
For more information about CSDH activities and membership application, please visit our web site at www.csdh.ca. It is up and running now to facilitate anyone wishing to join online.
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