IS A PEDIATRIC DENTIST TRAINED TO CARE FOR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS?
During our doctor’s advanced 2 year training for their pediatric dentistry certificate, much of their education was focused on the care of children with special needs. Our doctors have been treating patients with special needs for over 30 years. In addition, our offices are designed to be physically accessible for those special needs patients.
IS REGULAR DENTAL CARE NECESSARY FOR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS?
Yes, perhaps even more so. Preventative dental care for special needs children is very important. Some children are more susceptible to tooth decay and periodontal disease due to their handicap or medications that they rely on. Most times, it falls to the parent or caregiver to provide proper brushing and flossing at home. While the patient is fortunate to have someone to care for their teeth, the patient might not be able to communicate any discomfort or dental concerns to the parent. Regular dental check-ups with professional cleanings and fluoride treatments can help ensure any potential problems will be detected. In addition, preventative services such as sealants can be very beneficial to help prevent tooth decay.
WHEN SHOULD I START BRINGING MY SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD TO THE DENTIST?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry maintains the same recommendations for special needs children as it does for all children. A first dental visit by the first birthday will ensure that the parent learn the proper way to care for the child’s teeth and also will allow the dentist to alert the parent to any potential problems.
WILL MY CHILD REQUIRE SPECIAL CARE DURING TREATMENT?
We have found over the years that a quieter atmosphere in the office helps make the child feel more comfortable. We have set aside a time in our office and devoted it to our patients with special needs. If a child needs dental treatment and is apprehensive, we can offer mild sedation in the office. If more extensive treatment is needed, our doctors may suggest the child be treated in a hospital setting.