How We Help Kids With Special Needs With Dental Care
Kids with specific behavioral or medical conditions benefit greatly when their dental care team is educated and understands their needs. Not only does this improve your child’s safety, but it also helps your child develop a more trusting relationship with their dentist and achieve or maintain an optimal level of oral health.
Here are 5 examples of how our team and office accommodate all behavioral or medical needs and help kids feel more comfortable and secure.
1. Our entire team is 100% on board with accommodating the needs of every child.
When you bring your child to a dental practice, it isn’t just the dentist they spend time with. Reception welcomes you into the office, dental assistants help your child prepare for the dentist, and dental hygienists often perform biannual cleanings. Therefore, for the best experience possible, it’s important that everyone—not just the dentist—is educated and experienced in accommodating children with all types of needs.
At We Make Kids Smile, our entire team is on board with working with children of all types of needs, not just our dentists. Everyone your child meets has the skills to help them feel comfortable, and we’re all eager to do whatever is necessary to make your and your child’s visit a positive experience.
2. Our dentists have committed to extra training and education in working with children of all needs.
The primary distinction between pediatric dentists and family dentists is the additional training pediatric dentists receive after dental school. Pediatric dentists are dedicated to caring for children and teens under the age of 18. With that dedication comes extensive training in dental care as it pertains to children’s developing smiles, including children with special needs.
Some dentists take this training further by continuing their education into working with special needs children. They learn how to help kids relax, and they adjust their language to match a patient’s age or cognitive understanding. Furthermore, they better understand how some health conditions, like autism spectrum disorder or Down syndrome, can impact a child’s oral health. Dr. Aguto has been recognized as one of Washingtonian’s Best Dentists in 2017, 2019, and 2021.
3. We offer varying levels of safe sedation dentistry, including hospital dentistry with general anesthesia.
Sedation dentistry is an excellent tool for pediatric dentists and can be considered an essential service for some kids with special needs. Our practice offers several options for sedation, which can be selected based on how much or how little help your child needs during visits. For example, something like nitrous oxide, a mild sedative, can be given to help children with ADHD sit still and relax during treatment visits.
Children who are unable to safely or comfortably sit for a treatment appointment may require stronger sedation or even general anesthesia. Our practice has admitting privileges with several local hospitals to ensure maximum safety under general anesthesia when extensive dental work is needed. Parents can also rest assured knowing that our dentists have additional certifications in Basic Life Support (BLS) and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) to maximize safety during general or treatment visits.
4. Our office is easily accessible for children with assistive equipment, and we can adjust the environment to reduce stimuli.
Our offices are accommodating of children who rely on assistive equipment to get around, including wheelchairs, transport chairs, crutches, and walkers. Another thing we do to help children feel calm and comfortable is adjust our office environment to meet their needs.
Dental offices tend to be inherently highly stimulating environments. There are bright lights, strange noises, and there could be other patients and staff walking around. For children sensitive to these types of stimuli, we can book appointments during times when our practice is quieter or adjust the atmosphere by dimming lights, closing window blinds, and more.
5. We welcome and encourage “meet and greet” visits to help children get to know us before a real appointment.
If you’re searching for your child’s perfect dentist, we warmly invite you to see us for a happy visit.
Meeting a new dental care team can be overwhelming! Some kids are nervous about visiting a dentist while some are so excited and happy to make friends with us that it can be a sensory overload.
For these reasons, we offer meet and greets, or happy visits, to allow parents to bring their children in for a no-pressure visit without any sort of in-depth exam or evaluation. These visits are also a great way for concerned parents to meet our team, see our office, and get a first-hand look at how we interact with them and their child.
Gentle Kids’ Dental Care in Prince Frederick or Waldorf, MD
Our offices are conveniently located and always accepting new patients. If you’re interested in learning more about our approach to working with children with unique medical or behavioral needs, our dentists are eager to answer your questions. You can get in touch or schedule a visit by calling your preferred location or using this online form.