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Hospital Dentistry for Adults with Special Needs

Canadians with developmental disabilities often suffer from poor oral health and are faced with many barriers that limit timely access to oral health care. These barriers contribute to poor oral health and associated inequalities.


Trillium Health Partners, Credit Valley Hospital site is able to address these barriers in part, by being equipped to provide timely access to the operating room for treatment under general anaesthesia for adults with special needs.


This service is available for a subset of individuals with developmental disabilities. who can be affected by a broad range of physical, developmental, cognitive, sensory and behavioural impairments. This includes conditions such as intellectual disabilities, communication disorders, cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorder, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, motor disorders and/or sensory deficits.

Dr. Steve Lipinski in the operating room.

Stephen Emil Lipinski, Doctor of Dental Surgery, Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine

In the clinical setting, poor oral health status may be related to difficulty in obtaining an accurate diagnosis. These patients may have limited ability to describe pain or articulate their symptoms. They may not co-operate, or be resistant with oral health care professionals. They present with complications such as limited mouth opening, oral aversion, deficient swallowing reflex, excessive saliva production, a strong gag reflex and lingual interference that can limit intra-oral access. They may also experience high levels of anxiety and fear related to dental procedures and a lack of coping skills to tolerate discomfort and pain.

Many have complex medical and behavioural issues, often related to congenital anomalies and associated co-morbidities and may not be safely treated in an isolated setting like a stand-alone dental office.

There is a need for promotion of collaborative and interdisciplinary care between oral health care professionals, other health care providers, personal caregivers and agencies that work with individuals with special needs.

I am on medical staff at Trillium Health Partners and have been granted access to the operating room to provide routine dental treatment for special needs adults under general anaesthetic.


As with all surgical staff, administration and booking of operating room time is through the private office of the surgeon.


Please find my contact info below and on the accompanying referral pad. 

Thank you for your kind referral.


Steve Lipinski, DDS, D ABDSM


O:905-828-9894          Fax: 855-395-0788        

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