Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Dr. Geraldine Weinstein DDS MPH, Dr. Bina Katechia BDS MSc, Dr. Yu-Hsuing Wang DDS PhD

Field of Study

Dental Science


Master of Dental Science

Open Access

Open Access


In 2016, National Survey of Children’s Health conducted by the U.S. Department (HRSA MCHB) identified 18.8% of children aged 0-17 years old with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN). Of these children, 83.4% are not receiving adequate healthcare. It has been well established that oral health is an integral part of the child’s general health. Medical primary care physicians may play an important role in improving oral health outcomes through oral screening, referral, oral health education and promotion. CSHCN may be at an increased risk for oral health problems throughout their life which may negatively impact their quality of life and overall systemic health. Multiple Obstacles that act as barriers to oral health access and care for CSHCN have been described in the literature. Although advanced training programs train dental residents on different behavior guidance techniques, dental providers have limited education in addressing sensory and motor barriers in an individualized tailored manner. Moreover, there are no established recommendations or protocols that exist in regard to routine dental recalls and anticipatory guidance tailored for CSHCN given their complex special needs. Across the U.S., Title V (The Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant) along with Part C of IDEA (Individuals with Disability Education Act) are programs that support and fund statewide implementation of early intervention programs for CSHCN. Upon screening and eligibility, these children are provided early intervention services within a primary service provider (PSP) approach on regular basis (weekly, bi-weekly, etc.) starting birth to 3 years old. The AAPD and multiple researchers have advocated the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration between dentists and early intervention providers for CSHCN. Review of the literature reveals that there are no previous studies that highlight such efforts to coordinate interdisciplinary communications to address oral health barriers and concerns for children with special health care needs in regard to at home preventive oral health care.

Major Advisor

Dr. Geraldine Weinstein DDS MPH