At Mobile Pediatric Dentistry, we pride ourselves on providing comprehensive preventive and therapeutic dental care to all patients. We understand treating children who have special healthcare needs is an important aspect of the specialty of pediatric dentistry. We value the unique qualities of each young smile we treat and seek to ensure maximal health for all, regardless of developmental disability or other healthcare issues.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry defines special healthcare needs as “any physical, developmental, mental, sensory, behavioral, cognitive, or emotional impairment or limiting condition that requires medical management, healthcare intervention, and/or use of specialized services or programs.” Whether your child’s condition is congenital, developmental, or the result of disease or trauma, we can provide guidance and raise awareness of his or her special dental care needs.
Dental care for patients with special needs requires specialized knowledge acquired by additional training, as well as increased awareness and attention, adaptation, and accommodative measures beyond routine treatment. At our office, we have the experience necessary to provide suitable dental care while keeping in mind the unique nature of your child. We have experience with children with ADHD, Autism, Aspergers, Down Syndrome, and other special healthcare needs.
It is our goal to create a dental home for your child, where treatment can be delivered safely, and ideal dental health can be achieved.
Many children have a difficult time adjusting to visiting the dentist at first, and this can be amplified for children with special healthcare needs. Working with a pediatric dentist, with experience in special healthcare needs, helps you create a program that caters to your child’s specific emotional, mental, and physical needs.
In some cases, it can be helpful to start out with a playtime visit for your child so that they can visit the office and get used to the atmosphere. Our office offers a playroom with toys, games, and books and it was designed with children in mind. We try to create an environment in which your child will feel comfortable and safe during their visit. Kids and their families can stay and play and parents are welcome to try these playtime visits multiple times to work on getting kids comfortable.
Next, a room visit may be a great step. Kids can start playing in the waiting area and then transition into one of the smaller areas. Consider asking our staff if it is OK to bring a special toy to make this transition a smooth one. Once your child is comfortable, you and your child’s dentist can talk about oral health and what type of treatment may work best for your child.
The next step may be to have your child come in and experience sitting in one of the dental chairs. Dental assistants can explain different instruments in the room. If children are okay with it, then the visit can go on to have a short exam and a cleaning. However, a great pediatric dentist works to follow the child’s cues. If the appointment becomes more than your child can handle, we can stop and another visit can be scheduled.
For children with special healthcare needs that may have sensory challenges or high anxiety, sedation dentistry may be a great option. Sedation dentistry may provide a better experience for you and your child while ensuring that your child receives the dental care they need for optimal well-being and overall health. Talk to your pediatric dentist about sedation dentistry and whether it’s a good fit for your child.
Although visiting the dentist can come with special challenges, routine dental care is so essential for children with special healthcare needs. Your child may have a higher risk of many oral health problems if they have special healthcare needs. A pediatric dentist can work with you and your child to help prevent some of these problems before they happen. We love seeing all children, of all walks of life grow up with healthy and happy smiles. If you have questions or concerns about your child’s special healthcare needs and the oral health care they will receive, please call us today.