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Snoezelen

at the Dentist

The bright lights, sounds of the drill, and touch in


and around the childs mouth can be extremely
distressful even traumatic especially for children
with heightened sensory sensitivity, like those with
autism. Is general anesthesia, sedation or restraint
to carry out even the simplest of checks the only
solution?
Enter Beit Issie Shapiros Sensory Adapted (Snoezeled)
Dental Environment: dimmed lighting, soothing music,
and a special velcro butterfly vest that hugs the child and
provides them with calming, deep pressure sensations.
At a dental clinic for people with disabilities, most
treatments seem impossible. The path of a child
or adult with disabilities is paved with obstacles,
so every achievement is significant. Adapting the
dental environment enables our patients to amass
achievements and develop a positive attitude towards
the dental care and oral health they so direly need,
says Dental Clinic Director, Anat Baniel.
Our academic study on the Sensory Adapted Dental
Environment showed that this safe solution significantly
reduces the level of anxiety among children during
dental treatment. Today, we are advising the University
of Southern California and Childrens Hospital of Los
Angeles on replicating the research amongst children
on the autism spectrum.

The Naomi and Shimon Ditkovsky Dental Clinic at Beit Issie


Shapiro has been operating since 1989, the first and only nonhospital, non-institutional provider of comprehensive oral
health and dental treatment services for children and adults
with disabilities.

I M PA C T

throughout

nts per year


1,000 aclraieng
s
e of disabilitie
Israel with

tment

rgo trea
of clients unde
Over
rm of sedation
without any fo
of
under the age

90%

18
65%
ectrum
35% on the autism sp

Making the Impossible Possible


Maya is a young girl with moderate intellectual
disabilities, who rarely had her teeth checked by a
dentist. As a result, she began suffering from severe
pain in her mouth. It became clear that major surgery
would be required under anesthesia. Her parents
tried to arrange an appointment in the dental clinic
of a Tel Aviv hospital, but they were only offered a
date a year hence.
At Beit Issie Shapiros Dental Clinic a dentist saw her
immediately. A month later, Maya was pain-free. Her
father, who accompanies her to her appointments,
said: Maya was extremely anxious when she first
came to the clinic, but has become very relaxed
with the special lighting and music. She has learned
that going to the dentist can be a far more positive
experience than she ever anticipated.