A systematic literature search within PubMed and EBSCO Host using the search terms “Dental strategies” OR dental techniques OR Dental manag* OR dental treat* OR dentist AND autism AND Child* was carried out. The search yielded 10 articles, once exclusion and inclusion criteria were applied and each article was assessed using the qualitative and quantitative CASP tools.
Four main themes emerged from a thematic analysis of the 10 articles:
1) Desensitization strategies.
2) Educational strategies.
3) Behavioural approaches.
4) Anaesthesia interventions.
Evidence showed that current dental strategies like inter- professional collaboration and some visual strategies using the electronic screen media were particularly effective in treating children with autism within the clinical setting.
Conclusion: A range of strategies in providing dental treatment to children with autism were identified. These strategies include desensitization, by various techniques (e.g. visual strategies and social stories, desensitization appointments), educational strategies (e.g. inter-professional collaboration), behavioural strategies and local anaesthesia. However, there is limited evidence regarding the effectiveness of these techniques particularly local anaesthesia and communication supports. Future research is needed to ascertain the effectiveness of these techniques, both in their own right and comparatively with each other.