Al Wakra Hospital (AWH), a member of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), has opened the first of its kind specialized dental clinic for people with special needs.
Speaking about the clinic, Dr. Abdulhakim Ahmad Al Yafei, Consultant Pediatric 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 that is intended to be less stressful for patients and provides an ideal alternative to regular dental clinics.” He said patients do not need a referral to take advantage of the specialized dental care at this new clinic.
According to him, the new clinic is equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment, which meets global standards, 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 which is wide enough 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 400 kg in weight, thus enabling treatment of patients while they are seated on their wheelchairs.
“A full-fledged operation room has been set up to receive patients once a week for dental care under general anesthesia. This room is utilized for radiology imaging under general anesthesia 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 percent 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 anesthesia, every six months,” said Dr. Al Kuwari 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.