Disability resources for dental providers - Minnesota Department of Health

Disability Resources for Dental Providers

Information about seeing a dentist

People with disabilities can face unique challenges with respect to their oral health. It may be more difficult for people with disabilities to brush or floss, or they may be more susceptible to tooth decay or gum disease due to physical changes, dietary restrictions or medications.

In addition, dental clinic accessibility can be a significant barrier to receiving care.

Dental providers can play a major role in helping people with disabilities improve and maintain oral health and overall health.

Clinical accessibility

Changes to clinic workflows, processes and building layout can help better support people with disabilities. Assess your dental clinic for accessibility and make modifications as needed. Clinic staff should ensure clinic policies and procedures reflect the needs of people with disabilities (accessible forms, scheduling accommodations, etc.) and ensure coordinated care by including the patient, guardian(s), caregiver and health care providers and specialists in decision-making processes.

Clinic accessibility resources


Dental professionals should seek out available training opportunities like disability etiquette, cultural competency, health literacy and dental care delivery for people with disabilities. Gaining knowledge, understanding and skills in these areas can increase capacity to support people with disabilities.

Online disability trainings

In-person trainings

Dental professionals can find advanced training on working with people with disabilities through continuing education programs.

The Minnesota Council on Disability provides several trainings on various topics like disability rights and building accessibility.

Recommendations and guidelines of care

Additional Information

Keep Moving Forward - An interview series from the Minnesota Council on Disability featuring people with disabilities.

Dental Access Improvement Project: Special Needs BasicCare - Minnesota Department of Human Services

Building a Dental Home Network for Children with Special Health Care Needs in Minnesota - University of Minnesota

Updated Wednesday, 22-Sep-2021 18:01:26 CDT