A Complete Guide on Dental Care for Children with Special Needs
Dental Care for Children with Special Needs
Dental care is extremely important to someone’s overall health and well-being. It’s important for individuals to establish a good relationship with their dentist and develop healthy oral hygiene habits. However, for children with special needs, going to the dentist and developing these habits can be more difficult. Luckily, there are many ways to prepare for positive dental visits and establish a dental care routine at home. I have been practicing family dentistry for more than 17 years and am committed to helping my patients have positive dental experiences. That’s why I have come up with a complete guide for dental care for your child with special needs to share with you.
Going to the Dentist
For a child with special needs, going to the dentist can be hard, especially for the first time. There a lot of sensory elements that can be difficult to process which can make a child feel extreme discomfort during their dental visit. Here’s how you can work through some of these sensory issues and help prepare for your child’s dental visit.
Familiarization appointments are a great way to help your child prepare for a dental appointment. These appointments are an opportunity for you and your child visit the dental office before any dental work is being done. It’s a chance to meet the dentist and staff members and see what the dental office is like. Your child can see some of the dental tools and hear some of the noises in a more relaxed setting which can help them become more comfortable during their actual visit. Most dental offices offer familiarization appointment, so talk to yours about scheduling one.
Parents often have questions about dental sedation when it comes to their child receiving dental care. Patients with special needs may benefit from dental sedation if they have extreme anxiety and are refusing care from the dentist. There are a few different types of sedation that your dentist may offer. They include:
Inhaled Minimal Sedation: This is a common method where the dentist administers nitrous oxide plus oxygen through a breathing mask. Your dentist is in complete control of the amount that is being given.
Oral Sedation: A method that can range from minimal to moderate and is another widely used sedation method. The patient is given a pill to make them drowsy during their appointment. A more moderate dose may make the patient fall asleep.
IV moderate sedation: This sedation medication is given through the vein and works quickly. Your dentist will be able to adjust sedation levels as needed.
Deep Sedation: Deep sedation involves the patient being nearly or totally unconscious. Patients will be awakened until the effects of the medication wear off or are reversed. This method is used for more invasive dental procedures.
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