Special Needs Patients
Some special children are very susceptible to tooth decay, gum disease and oral trauma. Others require medications or a diet that is detrimental to dental health. Still other children have physical difficulty with effective dental habits at home. The good news is dental disease is preventable. If dental care is started early and followed conscientiously, every child can enjoy a healthy smile.
A first dental visit by the first birthday will start your child on a lifetime of good dental health. The pediatric dentist will take a full medical history, gently examine your child’s teeth and gums, then plan preventive care designed for your child’s needs. And, yes, your child will benefit from the preventive approach recommended for all children – effective brushing, flossing, moderate snacking and adequate fluoride. Homecare takes just minutes a day and prevents needless dental problems. Regular professional cleanings and fluoride treatments are also very beneficial. Sealants can prevent tooth decay on the chewing surfaces of molars where four out of five cavities in children occur.
Pediatric dentists have two or more years of advanced training beyond dental school. Their education as specialists focuses on care for children with special needs. In addition, our offices are designed to meet ADA Guidelines to be physically accessible for special patients with curb cuts, elevators, wide doorways and hallways and a large bathroom.
If a child needs extensive treatment the pediatric dentist may provide in-office sedation or general anesthesia in a local hospital. Your pediatric dentist has comprehensive training in behavior management, sedation and anesthesia techniques. He or she will discuss the benefits, limits and risks of such an approach if it is recommended.