Pediatric Dentistry for Children with Special Needs
Getting kids to the dentist can be tricky. Your child might have difficulty sitting still. There may be some fear surrounding the idea of a dental exam. You may have a child who has ongoing dental issues that require extra care.
All of these things may be compounded by your child's special needs. Luckily, pediatric dentists have been specially trained to work with children, including children with different types of special needs. We can sit down with you to talk about exactly what your child needs for a successful visit to the dentist and set up a treatment plan aimed at providing the dental care they need. At Dr. Beanca Children's Dentistry, we want to help every child smile. Keep reading to learn more about how a pediatric dentist can be a great fit for children with special needs.
Every Child is Unique
At our office, we consider every child who walks through the door to be special and unique. At the same time, we recognize that your child may need some extra special care. Whether your child has physical needs that need to be accommodated or developmental needs that need to be taken into consideration, we stand ready to help.
Many children, but especially those who have special needs, can benefit from a pre-visit to the dentist's office. You and your child are welcome to come to our office prior to your child's exam so your child can meet the dentist and check out the office before they come for their official examination and cleaning. This way, your child will know what to expect when they have their appointment. In addition, this will be a good time for you to speak with the dentist and discuss any particulars the dentist should know about your child. Different children have different needs, and at Dr. Beanca Children's Dentistry, we are prepared to offer each child an enjoyable, comfortable experience.
Physical Accommodations Required
If your child uses a wheelchair or another mobility device, you will want assurance that your child will be able to get through all the necessary doors and be able to maneuver in the actual exam room. If needed, you can help your child transfer into the dental chair, or the exam and cleaning can take place while your child stays in their wheelchair.
Working With a Visually Impaired Child
Your visually impaired child may need some specific accommodations when they visit the dentist. For example, they may benefit from 3D models that they can feel to understand what's happening in their mouth. Likewise, it may be helpful for them to touch the tools which will be used in the exam and cleaning. They may also need hands-on instruction in the best ways to manage their oral hygiene, as well as a step-by-step oral explanation of what will be happening during their dental visit.
Accommodations for a Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing Child
Similar to the use of 3D models to help a visually impaired child navigate their dental appointment, accommodations can be made to assist a deaf or hard-of-hearing child. Illustrations can help a deaf or hard-of hearing child understand what will be accomplished during an exam and cleaning. Communication is often the biggest barrier when working with a deaf or hard-of-hearing child. Parents can act as an interpreter to ensure a clear understanding between the dentist and their child. It's important that every child knows what to expect with their own dental care.
The Special Needs of Children with a Developmental Disability
If your child has a developmental disability, the idea of going to the dentist can be overwhelming for both you and your child. Fortunately, in addition to learning how to work with children with physical, visual, and hearing disabilities, pediatric dentists have received specific training in working with children with all types of developmental disabilities.
Your child may need extra time to get used to a new environment, or they may require a completely calm and quiet space. They may need a deeper or simpler explanation of what's happening throughout the appointment. Whatever the case may be, your pediatric dentist is equipped to offer your child exactly what they need for a successful dental appointment.
Children with Behavioral or Mental Health Issues
Some children have behavioral issues which can make visits to the dentist a challenge. Other children may experience anxiety when faced with the prospect of a dental visit. A treatment plan can be put in place to ensure that no matter what the issue may be, your child gets what they need when they visit the dentist. An appointment can be elongated to ensure your child has the time they need to adjust to the situation. Your child may also be offered choices for the order of procedures to give them that all-important feeling of control. Your pediatric dentist wants your child to have the best experience at the dentist—with their dental needs met at the highest level.
Adults with Special Needs
Of course, a pediatric dentist's specialty is in working with children. However, their additional training makes them well-suited to working with adults who have special needs, particularly those who may have developmental delays. These individuals may benefit from the same type of environment as children with special needs—a calm atmosphere with a lot of extra time built into the appointment to allow for adjusting.
If a child has difficulty remaining still for a dental procedure, there is the option of sedating them. This is a completely safe route to take to allow a child to relax and get through a longer-than-usual appointment. Depending upon the particular needs of your child, your pediatric dentist may discuss oral medication or medication delivered via IV. Some forms of sedation are mild, and your child will remain awake, but unaware, throughout the procedure, while some procedures may require general anesthesia. Your pediatric dentist will go over all of the options and help you decide what will work best for your child.
Your Child's Dental Care
As a parent of a child with special needs, you may struggle with the best way to maintain your child's dental health. At Dr. Beanca Children's Dentistry, we can advise you on the best way to take care of your child's teeth, regardless of the challenges you may be facing. If you live in the Huntington Beach, CA, area and are looking for the best pediatric dentist for your child, look no further than Dr. Beanca Children's Dentistry. Call our office or visit us online for an appointment today. We look forward to working with you and your child.