Special Needs Kids, Dentists, Insurance, Oh My!

February is Kids National Dental Health Month. For some special needs children, everyday activities like getting a haircut or visiting a dentist can be a big challenge. My daughter recently needed to have a tooth extracted. Like many kids with special needs, she has been poked and prodded and now has a huge fear of anyone in a lab coat. She is less than cooperative. Her dentist decided it would be better to put her under anesthesia, so she would be relaxed and have no bad memory of the event.

Our insurance company didn’t agree with him, claiming it was a simple extraction for which they do not cover anesthesia. We ended up paying the anesthesiologist’s hefty fee out of pocket, even though the dentist’s office sent a letter explain the circumstances.

Looking back on the ordeal, I wonder if it was really even necessary. I think that when our special needs kids are concerned we are too quick to jump through hoops and get things done. Really, I don’t think would have been any terrible consequences in our case. Of course, this was not a medical emergency.

Learn from my bad mistakes – call your insurance company and discuss any upcoming procedures. Find out what is and isn’t covered. Until insurance companies understand the needs of special needs children, we must be their advocates.

For more information on dental care and special needs kids, check out another article I wrote here: http://www.examiner.com/special-needs-kids-in-los-angeles/dental-health-for-special-needs-kids

About the Author

Rosie Reeves is a writer and mother of three; including one with special needs. She works side-by-side with her daughter’s therapists, teachers and doctors. Rosie has also served as the Los Angeles Special Needs Kids Examiner. She can be reached at rosie327@aol.com. Rosie is a member of the PedSafe Expert team


5 Responses to “Special Needs Kids, Dentists, Insurance, Oh My!”

  1. Great article and I wish that dentists and doctors would take time, even through frequent short “hello’ visits, to get to know the child and to put them at ease before any major procedure. It has been my experience that to de-sensitize any child to this kind of experience would have been key to success. Your thoughts?

    thanks for sharing-

    Louise Sattler
    Owner of Signing Families™

  2. Rosie Reeves Rosie says:

    I agree, Louise! I brought my daughter to the office many times during her brother’s exams in the hopes of getting her comfortable with the place, the doctor and the staff. We still had to chase her around the room before the procedure!!

  3. I’m so lucky I have a great dentist! He has a big selection of kids sunglasses so they don’t get blinded by the light and he always says exactly what he’s doing so my child feels more grown up. Really makes the visits a lot easier!

  4. You should check out Practice Without Pressure at http://www.pwpde.com They will be a great resource and support for you.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences and encouraging other families to check with insurance providers first!

    Stacey and Allen Friedland


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