Why should I choose a special needs dentist for my child?
Every child is different. And if your little one has health problems that make their treatment difficult for any reason, a special needs dentist can help. Special needs dentists have experience with children and special needs patients of all types. From kids with sensory sensitivity, ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), and a variety of other conditions, our experienced team can ensure your little one gets the care they need.
Did you know…
48% of patients with medical complexities don’t get a yearly checkup, compared to 35% of the general population.
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Stress-Free Sedation Options
No child deserves to struggle with fear or pain during treatment. Sedation options are an effective way to help your kiddo get the care they need without discomfort or anxiety. Talk to your child’s dentist to learn more about what sedation option will best fit their needs.
No Drill, No Shot Options
Numbing shots and noisy drills can cause unnecessary anxiety and fear for kiddos. We’re proud to offer drill-free and shot-free treatment options that not only protect your child’s smile but keep them calm and reassured, too.
Behavior Guidance Counseling
Sitting in the dental chair isn’t always easy! That’s why our compassionate team offers behavior guidance counseling. With our gentle directions and upbeat approach, we’ll empower your child to face challenges, overcome obstacles, and gain confidence as they learn how to take charge of their oral health.
Going to the dentist is a significant experience, with new faces, sounds, and expectations. To help your child adjust, we offer desensitization appointments. Through a series of visits, the dentist will give your child a tour of our office, introduce our friendly team, and teach them about dental tools. This helps your kiddo get acclimated with our space so they can feel safe, secure, and cared for.
Board-Certified Pediatric Dentist
Rest assured that your child is receiving top-notch, specialized care with our Board-Certified Pediatric Dentist. To be recognized by The American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, doctors must undergo extensive training in the pediatric field in addition to their standard dental degrees.
Before & After
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See real patient success stories.
The Benefits of Special Needs Dentistry
Better Patient Accommodations
Your child’s dentist can do things like adjust office lighting and sound for patients with sensory issues, use special equipment to treat patients, and provide additional staff to ensure that special needs patients get the personalized care they need.
Expert Care For Every Patient
Special needs dentists know how to treat patients with a wide variety of physical, mental, and developmental impairments. Your child’s dentist will know how to keep them safe and comfortable as they get the dental care they need.
Comfort With Sedation
A wide variety of sedation options are available, which allow their patients to rest, relax, and even sleep soundly through their appointment. Sedation is a very useful tool for patients who may otherwise have trouble being treated in a traditional dental environment.
The Special Needs Dentistry Process
Initial Health Discussion
To begin, your special needs dentist will meet with you and/or your child, and review their medical history, records, medications they're taking, and other details. Every special needs patient is different, so it’s important for their dentist to develop a full understanding of their health and disabilities.
Oral Exam & Teeth Cleaning
The first step toward better oral health is a comprehensive oral exam and teeth cleaning. This gives our team the opportunity to learn more about your child’s health, identify potential oral health issues, and understand the next steps for a healthier mouth.
Personalized Treatment Plan
After their consultation, your child’s dentist will discuss their oral health with you. They will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan, including both any necessary in-office care and recommendations for at-home oral hygiene.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Your child’s oral health may be affected by therapies or medications that have been used to treat their condition. The condition itself may also affect how the teeth and oral structures grow, how much calcium is in the body (affecting tooth enamel), how much saliva your child produces (saliva helps clear away food particles), and your child’s diet.
Nutrition plays a critical role, not only in the health of our bodies, but in the health of our teeth. Even your child’s ability to chew solid foods will affect their dental health, as the pressure of chewing creates stimulation in the jaw bone and the friction helps clear away tartar and plaque build up.
Several kid-friendly, liquid medicines contain a syrup base with added sugar so children will actually take the medication and benefit from its effects. However, these sugars can cause cavities if they’re not properly rinsed or brushed away after use.
Other medications can cause a reduction in saliva, or dry mouth. And since saliva helps clear away food particles, sugars and bacteria from the mouth, dry mouth can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, or infection. It’s important that you share a list of medications your child uses, so our team can provide oral care recommendations that work around your child’s medical needs.
Sometimes children with physical, emotional, behavioral, intellectual or communication disabilities may find it difficult to properly brush their own teeth. They may not possess the fine motor skills needed, and will need your help to maintain good oral health. Here are a few tips to help you brush your child’s teeth: Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles that’s made for children. Your child may be more interested in brushing if the toothbrush has their favorite character on the handle or if it’s their favorite color. Use oral hygiene aids, like brushes with larger handles. If your child has trouble holding their toothbrush, try fastening the toothbrush with a string, strap or your own hand and guiding them on the right technique. Pick a fluoride toothpaste that your child likes. They come in many different flavors and colors, so you should be able to find one that they enjoy. Monitor the amount of toothpaste used. You should apply the toothpaste to the brush, so they don’t use too much, and monitor your child as they brush, so they don’t swallow the toothpaste. Make it fun! Sing songs, count, or say the alphabet while your child brushes so they get a sense of how long they should brush, and stay entertained while brushing.
Conditions that may affect your child’s dental care include:
- Cerebral Palsy
- Cleft Lip & Palate
- Down Syndrome
- Hearing Impairment
- Traumatic Brain Injury
When you call to inquire about an appointment, let our team know your child’s condition and needs, and we’ll work together to determine if our practice is the right fit for your family.