Caring for a special needs child means learning to be cautious in deciding how and when to expose them to the many different aspects of daily living, including necessary interactions with the world.
In choosing a qualified dentist for your loved one, it is important to understand how their approach to special needs patients matches the needs of your child. It is important to know what their practice offers in the way accessibility, relaxation techniques, and sedation.
Setting the Stage for Positive Early Dental Experiences
Special needs children can experience a variety of triggers that lead to increased anxiety and are often unpredictable. A good special needs dentist understands that a warm, patient, and compassionate approach is necessary to help quiet your child’s fears and make them feel safe.
They should also have experience treating all kinds of children, including those who are disabled or have other unique needs. When researching a pediatric dentist, always check to see if they offer special services for your child. Sadly there are not an abundance of dentists that cater specifically to special needs children and many, inexperienced with these patients can unwittingly increase uncooperative behaviors and frustration in your child.
Essential Dental Services for Special Needs Children
Sedation Options – while some special needs patients can tolerate a simple exam, many require some level of sedation, be it simple nitrous oxide, conscious oral sedation, IV sedation, or general anesthesia.
A Special Needs Protocol – The Dentist you choose should have both experience and specific skills that qualify them to treat the special needs population. They should have measures in place that have been proven effective in calming their patients and preventing triggers.
A Trained Staff – Besides the dentist, the entire team should have training when it comes to treating special needs patients and ways to keep calm and professional in the case of a triggered reaction by a patient. For practices that use pediatric restraints, it is imperative that they know when this method will calm a child, allowing the dentist to complete an exam without sedation, and when it will escalate the uneasiness and apprehension the child is already experiencing.
Handicapped Access – If your child or loved has mobility challenges, be sure to find out how accessible the dental office is, and if they have disabled parking or wheelchair availability.
At The Dental Office of Ralph Zotovich, we offer compassionate dental care for your special needs loved one and are dedicated to earning your trust.
Dr. Zotovich has extensive experience providing special needs dental care in San Jose.
Call us today to schedule your consultation.