Department of Special Needs Dentistry (Division of Special Care Dentistry)

 The Division of Special Care Dentistry provides dental care for those who have difficulties with dental care due to mental and physical diseases or disabilities, and also engages in research and education regarding special care dentistry.

Associate ProfessorShigehisa AKIYAMA
Associate Professor (Lecturer)Jumpei MURAKAMI

■ Research

 We are pursuing investigations of various intractable diseases to realize barrier-free care.
The Division of Special Care Dentistry has been investigating the causes of dental disease characterized individuals with disorders and developing special dental care procedures for them.Dental disease peculiar to handicapped individuals is primarily early-onset periodontitis in Down’s syndrome and gingival hypertrophy (see a photo) induced by medicine such as anti-epileptic drugs.

 To develop therapies for those diseases, we attempt to clarify their causes. We are also endeavoring  to develop methods of behavior control or modification using a psychological approach for individuals who are difficult to treat in clinical settings.
For autistic children, we have developed a method of inducing adaptive behavior to dental treatment using visual support or supportive picture guidance (see a photo), which can be applied in clinical settings.

 Furthermore to promote barrier-free dental care, we are developing a Braille text system for visually impaired patients and a sign language and writing system for hearing-impaired patients as communication support tools.
Our efforts of improving the medical environment and barrier-free services for individuals with special needs should be applicable to a broad range of medical situations outside dentistry.