Dental Care for Special Needs Children
Our office takes the specialized care of pediatric dentistry to a deeper level, fostering a safe and comfortable environment for special needs children. Our dentists are specifically trained to work with young and older patients with special needs or other behavioral challenges.
This includes advanced training for the particular behavioral management considerations these children need for a positive experience. In situations where children have trouble sitting still for the visit, our sedation options are simple to administer and can make for a smoother exam.
Since every patient has their own unique needs, we look forward to meeting and talking with you in our office about how we can best treat your child in a safe, healthy, and comfortable environment.
Frequent Questions Parents of Special Needs Children Ask:
What age should I start bringing my child in to see the pediatric dentist? Generally age 1 is appropriate, but another answer is as soon as their teeth begin sprouting through the gums. Those early visits help us monitor healthy tooth growth, set good hygiene habits and answer your questions, and begin getting your child used to seeing a dentist.
What if my child won’t sit still for a dental appointment? Sometimes, even despite the staff and parents’ best efforts, a child finds it difficult to sit still. This is where sedation can be useful. A lot of people think of full-on anesthesia when they hear sedation, but there are actually several forms of dental sedation that are far simpler.
Oral sedation, for instance, only involves liquid medicine that creates a sensation of calm for your child and wears off shortly after their visit. This gives your child amnesia, where they don’t tend to remember much about the appointment after taking the medication.
Many parents find this is helpful to ensure their children have a great visit and don’t have anxiety about seeing the dentist.
What age of special needs patients can your office see? For special needs patients we generally don’t dismiss at adulthood. That means we can form lifelong bonds with our special needs patients, seeing them from childhood well into adulthood.
What’s the advantage of seeing a pediatric dentist for children with special needs versus a general dentist?
Pediatric dentists have additional training, specific to treating children, that general dentists do not. This training is equally about the early developmental stages of children’s teeth as it is about good “bedside manner” for children. Simply put, these are not forefront for general dentists who primarily see adults.
Adult teeth are already fully formed, so the role of a general dentist is more about maintenance and keeping those teeth healthy. A pediatric dentist must do that in addition to helping the child’s teeth form strong and healthy to begin with.
Pediatric dentists are trained to deal with the developing psyche of a child, as well as older patients with special healthcare needs. Pediatric dentists are also trained to offer more “advanced behavioral management techniques,” such as treatment under sedation or under general anesthesia.