At the conclusion of this educational activity participants will
be able to:
1. Differentiate between the different types of ADHD.
2. Discuss the etiology of ADHD
3. Describe the diagnosis and treatment recommendations for
patients with ADHD.
4. Work effectively with ADHD patients in the dental office.
Effectively treating patients with special needs can be a challenge for many dental professionals. This course will provide
clinicians with the tools they need to effectively treat patients
with ADHD and assist in making the appointment experience
enjoyable for both the provider and the patient. By increasing
your knowledge of ADHD diagnosis, classification, statistics
and treatment options including pharmacological agents, your
confidence level will improve and patient care excel.
This course contains the most current information regarding
classification, diagnosis, statistics and treatment recommendations of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
The DSM- 5 ( The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental
Disorders) was released May 2013, replacing the DSM- 4. This
course will cite the DSM- 5 to ensure the reader receives the
most current information.
ADHD is defined as a medical condition that is caused
predominately by genetic factors which results in neurological
differences. 1, 2, 3 It is a developmental disorder of self-control or
the ability to regulate behavior. 1, 4 Children with ADHD have a
significant impairment in their ability to inhibit behavior that
affects daily life. 3 Working with these patients in the dental
office can be a challenge. This course is designed to increase
self-confidence by providing the skills needed to work with patients who have difficulty with self-control or regulating their
A reliable resource for information on ADHD can be
accessed through CHADD’s website ( www.chadd.org).
CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/
Hyperactivity Disorder) is a national, non-profit organization
founded in 1987. They provide education, advocacy and support for individuals with ADHD.
ADHD History & Classification
ADHD was first recognized in 1902 when it was called
brain-injured child syndrome, then was renamed minimal brain
dysfunction. In 1970 it was again renamed hyperactive child
syndrome, and then attention-deficit disorder. Finally, in 1987,
the term attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder was coined. 1, 2
According the DMS- 5, there are three identified types of
1. ADHD: Predominately Inattentive Type. This used to be
referred to as ADD. Many still refer to this type as ADD3
2. ADHD: Predominately Hyperactive / Impulsive Type
3. ADHD: Combined, statistically, the most common form
of ADHD. 1, 2, 3
According to the DSM- 5, patients with ADHD struggle
with the following five issues:
1. Difficulty with sustaining attention and increased distractibility
2. Impulse control or inhibition
3. Excessive activity
4. Difficulty following rules and instructions
5. Excessive variability in their responses to situations
As with many disorders, such as Parkinson’s, Down syndrome,
alcoholism, Lupus or Alzheimer’s, there is no single lab test to
diagnose ADHD. Based on the DSM- 5, a patient must possess at least six of the nine listed personality traits in order to be
diagnosed by a professional with ADHD.
ADHD: Predominately Inattentive Type
1. Often fails to pay close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork or other activities.
2. Often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play
3. Often does not appear to listen when spoken to directly.
4. Often does not follow through with instructions and fails
to complete schoolwork, chores or duties in the workplace.
5. Often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities.
6. Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks
requiring sustained mental effort such as schoolwork or
7. Often loses things necessary for tasks or activities.
8. Often is easily distracted by extraneous stimuli.
9. Often forgetful in daily activities.
ADHD: Predominately Hyperactive / Impulsive Type
1. Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat. This
can pose a big problem in the dental environment.
2. Often leaves seat in classroom or other situations in which
remaining seated is expected.
3. Often runs about and climbs excessively in situations
where it is not appropriate.
4. Often has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly.
5. Often talks excessively.
6. Often blurts out answers before questions have been
7. Often has difficulty awaiting their turn.
8. Often interrupts or intrudes on others.