According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, parents should take their children to visit a dentist for kids twice a year. These biannual visits enable the dentist to monitor the child's dental development, assess changes in the mouth, and offer recommendations for the child's oral health. That said, the child may need a dental…
What to Ask a Special Needs Dentist During a Dental Exam
A special needs dentist is a professional capable of providing dental care to special needs patients. Dental care often starts at an early age for these patients. The patient with specific needs has fears and anxieties about the simple trip to the dentist. Knowing what your dentist offers during a dental exam can help give you and your child peace of mind. Here are some questions to ask your special needs dentist.
What does this type of dentistry mean?
Special needs dentistry gives dental care and treatments to patients who have physical, mental, cognitive, sensory, or developmental disabilities. This branch of dentistry concentrates on minimizing the patient’s anxiety. This is possible by creating a calm environment before and during the dental exam. The special needs dentist and staff know how to engage the patients from start to finish.
What should the parents do before the dental appointment?
The parents or guardians of these patients must have a heart-to-heart conversation about anxieties and fears. Explaining the dental exam in steps can help the special needs patient calm down even before the appointment. The patient can then appreciate the importance of seeing the dentist. The dentist can help parents with the explanations before and during the checkup.
What specific needs do special needs dental patients have?
The dental needs of these patients are different from the needs of neurotypicals. These needs may include an increased risk of tooth decay from poor brushing, medications, or trauma. Supervising the patient’s dental care technique can help parents know where the patient can improve. Encouraging the patient to see the special needs dentist can help spot any brewing dental issues.
Is the staff capable of providing the patient’s dental care needs?
The parent of a special needs patient will need to know if the dental staff has the experience to help the patient go through the dental exam. There could be moments of outbursts or fear. The staff must be ready with helpful tools to pacify the patient. A dentist’s soothing voice, a collection of toys or turning on the TV can distract the young patient from the anxiety.
Is the clinic accessible?
Finding an available and experienced special needs dentist close to the patient’s house is convenient. Having a complete and accessible facility is even better. Some patients have assistive walking devices. A clinic must accommodate the special needs patient while moving around the facility.
Are there options for sedation?
Some of these patients have difficulty relaxing before and during the dental exam. Others even show stress in their reaction to the special needs dentist. There is often no other way to keep the patient calm than to provide sedation dentistry. Laughing gas is the most common means to relax a special needs patient. The dentist will discuss more options with the parent before the start of the dental exam.
A special needs dentist understands how to handle patients with special dental needs
Learning about dental health at an early age is important to patients with specific needs. That is why parents or guardians exert great effort to find a special needs dentist in the area. This dental care professional can provide the right type of dental treatment. They can do so while keeping the special needs patient calm in the treatment chair.
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