Mike Collins prefers to stay in his wheelchair at the dentist.

Mike Collins prefers to stay in his wheelchair at the dentist.

On the list of life’s unpleasant chores, going to the dentist has to rank pretty close to the top. The smell of the dentist’s office, the sting of the injection, the whine of the drill, the sharp metal instruments and latex-clad fingers poking around in your mouth — dozens of horror movies and stand-up comedy routines have been based on the whole experience. Still, we put up with it — or at least, know that we should — because an afternoon of suffering once or twice a year is worth it if it means keeping all your teeth.

But what if your wheelchair won’t fit through the door? What if you’re unable to transfer into the dentist’s chair? What if your dentist knows nothing about your disability and how it might affect your teeth? Or what if you’re uninsured, or on Medicaid and you can’t even find a dentist that will take you?

In recent years, much attention has been paid to the barriers — physica