Al Wakra Hospital (AWH), a member of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), has opened the first of its kind specialised dental clinic for people with special needs.
Dr Abdulhakim Ahmad al-Yafei, consultant, paediatric and special needs dentistry and head of dentistry department at AWH, said: “This is the first time in the Middle East that such a clinic, which caters to both children and adults with special needs, has been established. This specially designed facility provides a more accessible and accommodating service, intended to be less stressful for patients and provides an ideal alternative to regular dental clinics.”
Dr al-Yafei said that patients do not need a referral to avail the specialised dental care at this new clinic. The new clinic is equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment and is staffed with a medical team comprising three consultants and two specialists. The clinic provides oral and dental healthcare such as tooth extraction, filling and implants, in addition to orthodontics, prosthodontics and treatment of caries and gingivitis.
Dr al-Yafei explained that the new clinic has a specially designed door to allow access to patients with mobility impairment. The clinic is also equipped with a special lifting apparatus, which can lift an object up to 400kg in weight, enabling treatment of patients while seated on their wheelchairs.
“A full-fledged operation room has been set up to receive patients once a week for dental care under general anaesthesia. This room is utilised for radiology imaging under general anaesthesia for those patients who experience difficulty when they undergo radiology imaging. The new clinic also allows patients to receive care from physicians of various specialties, as may be necessary for their cases,” Dr al-Yafei said.
Dr Ohoud al-Kuwari, dentist at AWH, said, “Our hospital is receiving more children with special needs because we found that about 30% of all children seeking dental care were special needs children and hence we concluded there was a real need to open a special clinic dedicated to these patients.”
“The clinic also allows those unable to clean their teeth independently the chance of having a dental cleaning and treatment procedure, under general anaesthesia, every six months,” Dr al-Kuwari said, adding that there are plans to increase dental specialties available at the clinic to include other specialties such as periodontics and dental nerve treatment required by patients with epilepsy who may need frequent removal of their gums and cleaning of their dental nerve.
He added that the hospital plans to coordinate with various schools to facilitate their students with special needs to avail of the specialist dental services offered.
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