Special needs dentistry refers to a dentist or office that has undergone additional training to work with children who have special needs. It’s an umbrella term that refers to those with different physical, mental, or sensory impairments. Parents need to be careful about choosing a practitioner who has a general understanding of different conditions, but they also need to look for a professional with a natural empathy for patients who may have difficulty with a standard examination.
There are a number of ways you should expect your dentist to alter their standard solutions for your child. For example, it may prove difficult to work with children with severe facial conditions, but the right dentist can find ways to overcome those challenges. You can expect consultation meetings to discuss what your child needs and how your child feels about being in the chair. Solutions may include everything from slowing down the pace of the exam to using anesthesia to reduce pain and general discomfort. The dentist will tell you more about how they’ll approach the situation, so they can get feedback from you.
If you feel your child requires extra attention beyond what a general level of care would provide, it’s time to call a dentist who understands. Look for a professional who takes the time to learn about your child, and who will be completely transparent with you. Dental professionals and parents have to learn from each other to get the best results for the child. Ultimately, you’re looking for someone who can not only make formal dental treatments easier for your child but who can also recommend long-term solutions for optimum dental care.