This is an OTD residency opportunity in the Clinical Research track.
Sharon Cermak | Sensory Adaptations in Dental Environments (SADE)
About the Sensory Adaptations in Dental Environments lab
The SADE lab, led by Dr. Sharon Cermak EdD, OTR/L, FAOTA, studies interventions that alter the sensory characteristics of the dental environment in order to decrease children’s physiological anxiety and negative responses during oral care and contribute to increased child comfort as well as safer, more efficient, and less costly dental treatment. If successful, this intervention has the potential to revolutionize clinic-based dental care for the growing population of children with autism spectrum disorder, as well as for typically-developing children with dental anxiety and/or sensory over-responsivity.
About the residency
The research study, Sensory Adapted Dental Environments to Enhance Oral care for Children (SADE-2), focuses on children with autism spectrum disorder with sensory over-responsivity. Dental offices present particular challenges, for example bright lights, high-pitched sounds, smells, and touch. The aim of the study is to adapt the sensory characteristics of the dental environment to decrease children’s negative response and increase comfort, safety, and cost-efficiency. Our long-term goal is to revolutionize the clinic-based dental care for children with ASD as well as for typically-developing children with dental anxiety and/or sensory over-responsivity. This study will give the resident extensive experience with children with ASD and their families. The resident will be a part of an interdisciplinary team including occupational therapy, dentistry, psychology, statisticians, and health economists.
The resident will receive a Graduate Assistantship award, which covers 24 units of tuition, plus a stipend, as well as health and dental insurance and the student health center fee.