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Going to the Dentist

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’This book is fantastic for those who struggle with reading or who find pictures easier to interpret’

Title: Going to the Dentist

Authors: Sheila Hollins, Amber Qureshi and Lloyd Page

Publisher: Beyond Words

Reviewer: Rebecca Myatt, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust

What was it like?

The Books Beyond Words are a series of stories for people who find pictures easier than words. The book is a small paperback, illustrated with images of a young man who eats lots of sugary foods and doesn’t look after his teeth correctly. One night, he wakes with toothache and has to go to the dentist for treatment. There is no text to decipher, so the reader can make up their own storyline and see how the dental appointment, treatment and subsequent visits progress. The idea behind the series is to allow individuals to retell their own account at their own pace about an experience that may be traumatic if not fully explained.

What were the highlights?

The illustrations in the book are clear but plain to prevent distraction or overstimulation of the reader. There is a suggested storyline at the end of the book to enable supporters / carers to pick up key points and provide guidance if needed. There is also information for dental health professionals including strategies for communicating with the patient and their supporter, information on capacity assessment for informed consent and how to make reasonable adjustments. General tips for supporting someone who has complex needs or heightened sensitivity to touch or sound are also covered in a sensitive manner.

Strengths & weaknesses:

The series are really positive addition to the literature supporting those with additional needs.

As well as information for the reader and dentist, there is a good section of information for supporters and carers including communication and consent and general tips on looking after our teeth and gums and an explanation of medical terminology. For those seeking further information, there is also a list of useful resources.

Who should read it?

This book is fantastic for those who struggle with reading or who find pictures easier to interpret. I shared it with a group of children one of whom has Down Syndrome. They were all fascinated and told their own version of the events illustrated, adding to each other’s descriptions and recounting their own experiences at the dentist. It would be an asset for adults with learning difficulties as the overall structure and tone is suitable for both the young and old. It would also be really valuable for supporters and carers of these individuals as well as those working in dentistry. I think every dental practice should have a copy.

going to the dentist cover

going to the dentist cover





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