Region Jnkpings ln Odontologiska Institutionen

How Swedish dental professionals should approach and meet their patients with disabilities – a project to increase quality in caretaking

Ahlborg B1, Ahlborn B2, Norderyd J2, Wallenius E3.
1Mun-H-Center, Göteborg, Sweden
2The Swedish section of NFH/IADH
3The Swedish Association of Rare Disorders, Sundbyberg, Sweden


There is a risk that people with disabilities feel that they are not met with enough respect in their contacts with dental professionals. One important reason for this is probably lack of knowledge within the dental community and therefore less ability to understand how it is to live with a disability. The Swedish parliament has decided to support long-term and continuous education of employees in public service in how to meet people with disabilities. The present project was performed in collaboration between dental professionals and patient organizations. The aim was to illustrate and describe the difficulties that people with disabilities experience in their contacts with Swedish dental care, and through information and education to dental professionals change their attitudes.

Materials and methods

A series of dialogue meetings were held throughout Sweden. Invited to these meetings were either only people with disabilities and their families or only people working at dental clinics. The exchange of experiences, observations, and reflections were documented and used as basis for a short book.


Altogether 14 dialogue meetings were arranged. Then the collected documentations from these meetings were decided to be saturated. Ten main points could be drawn from the material, which were used as headings in the book with 50 citations from the dialogue meetings. The book is illustrated with humorous drawings and has been sent out to all dental clinics in Sweden free of charge. 


  • There is a need to approve the quality in the contacts between dental professionals and their patients with disabilities.
  • Dialogue meetings have shown to be useful for collecting data about attitudes and experiences concerning meetings between dental professionals and their patients.
  • Collaboration between patient organizations and the dental community was a necessity in order to produce this book.

The project was funded by SISUS.

Uppdaterad: 2013-04-03
Anna Thofelt, Avdelningen för odontologisk radiologi Jönköping, Folktandvården