Dental Appointments for Patients with Special Needs

Special needs patients may need special dental care. Here are some tips that will make their trip to the dentist a little easier:
Choosing a dentist. Choose a dentist who sees patients with special needs. A pediatric dentist may be a good choice because of the special training they have working with children. They know how to act around kids and this can be a big help during the visit, especially during the first one.
Helping those with physical barriers. When choosing a dentist, find out if they have wheelchair access and make a plan for getting the patient into the dental chair. Let the office know if the patient needs special help during treatment. For example, they may need help keeping the patient's mouth open if they can't do it on their own. When providing a medical history, list any allergies to dental materials, such as metal or latex.
Preparing for the dental visit. A little planning can help your patient get ready for the dentist. Don't wait until the last minute to tell them about the visit. When talking about the dentist, seeing pictures in books or on the computer can give the patient an idea of what to expect at the dental office.
At the dental office. Make an appointment during a time that's easy for the patient. Since you may be waiting for long periods of time, bring something to keep them busy. And during the appointment, don't forget to offer plenty of praise.
Extra help. Some children may need to be given a mild drug so that they can feel relaxed during treatment. There are different ways that these drugs are given. Talk to the dentist about what would be best for your child.
With a little planning, visiting the dentist can be a good experience for your child.