How To Find The Best Dentist For Your Special Needs Child

Establishing trustWe all know how important it is to find the right dentist for your family. There are several factors that come into play- someone who understands your concerns and makes you feel comfortable, someone with experience and the skills necessary, someone close to your home, someone who takes or helps with filing your insurance. These criteria are important for sure but there are a few more factors to take into account when finding a dentist for your special needs child.

A dentist with rave reviews and the most experience may not always mean they are the best choice for your special needs child. It is important that the dental staff and doctor know and understand the needs of your child before the appointment. The best way to handle this is to schedule a sit down with the doctor to discuss exactly what is needed and make sure the dental team can accommodate your needs. Most dental offices offer free consultations for exactly this reason. You’ll want to discuss your child’s disabilities and sensitivities. You’ll also want to discuss the dental office’s policies for restraining children who are unable to control their movements or may become agitated or combative. These options may range from sitting them in the parent’s lap and holding them to a papoose board, or even mild sedation.

Having a plan in place prior to the dental treatment appointment will eliminate possible mental trauma and anguish to your child and frustration with your dental team.

While most general dentistry practices see children, it may be wise to look into a pediatric dentist who is specially trained and equipped for children. There are even pediatric dentists who have become trained in special needs dentistry by completing two or more years of advanced education beyond dental school. These dentists have a complete understanding of the issues your child may have with visiting a dentist- sensitivity to touch, new people, change of environment or routine. A dental staff who is fully trained to handle these concerns will take steps to ensure that the child is seen by the same staff member each time, in the same room and chair, while wearing the same outfit each time.

Dental care is important for all children and adults alike but because children with disabilities have higher incident of gum disease, cavities and other dental concerns, it is very important you find a dentist that you can all feel comfortable with and trust. If you are unsure how to find a dentist to fit your needs, check with advocacy organizations in your area. Your child deserves to be as comfortable as possible during every dental appointment.

About the Author

I am a family dentist who treats children as well as adults. Making smiles people love, extreme makeovers and complex dental reconstruction is our niche including implants, TMJ, orthodontics and cosmetic dentistry. As a participant in the blog, I will be offering dental perspectives on pediatric safety and health care options on a regular basis. I can be reached at Blessings to all! Dr Williams is a member of the PedSafe Expert team


7 Responses to “How To Find The Best Dentist For Your Special Needs Child”

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      Thanks David for stopping by to let us know your thoughts about Dr Bill’s post! We think he’s pretty great too…and we’ve past on your comments to let him know! Please drop by any time! We love to hear when an article has made a good impression on one of our readers! Have a great weekend! Stefanie / Pediatric Safety

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