It is important to find a dentist you can trust. If you are the parent or caregiver of someone with special needs, it becomes even more important. Dental care can be a challenging task for special needs children and adults. Not only can physical limitations be present, but there are certain mental conditions that may make dental visits a source of major stress and high anxiety.
When searching for the right special needs dentist, there are several qualities you should look for, including the following:
- Training and Experience in Treating Special Needs Patients
- Sedation Dentistry Options
- Relaxation Techniques/Amenities (soothing music, warm blankets, low lights, etc.)
- Handicap Accessibility (wide walkways, portable imaging, etc.)
- Compassionate, Friendly Staff
A Positive First Dental Visit for Special Needs
It is critical that you find a dentist who understands the importance of creating positive dental experience from the start. This can set the stage for future dental care visits, reducing anxiety and allowing the special needs patient to associate dentistry with a comforting and painless experience. Sometimes it is best to visit the office yourself before you bring the special needs child or adult. Pay attention to the way you are spoken to, is it a gentle tone of voice? Also, does the practice operation feel rushed or chaotic? Be sure it is a place that fosters a relaxing and patient ambiance.
Special needs patients can exhibit heightened levels of anxiety at unpredictable times. A qualified special needs dentist will be able to address these episodes in a calm and comforting manner. It is crucial that the patient feels safe while in the dentist’s chair, and a good dental practice will foster that in multiple ways.
Helping You Maintain Oral Health at Home
Lastly, a good special needs dentist will take the time to educate the caregiver on ways to improve dental care at home. Oral hygiene can be just as taxing or challenging as coming to the dental office. Brushing teeth and flossing requires a certain level of toleration that may prove difficult for the special needs child or adult. Your dentist should be viewed as your partner in dental health, helping you with tips and tools to make oral hygiene easier for the special needs individual you are caring for.
Ready to learn more about dental care services for special needs patients at Basin Dentistry? We’d love to get to know you. Our ability to treat physically or mentally impaired patients is backed by years of experience and specialized training.
Posted on Behalf of Basin Dentistry