Tips for Parents of a Special Needs Child at the Dentist
Support for Your Special Needs Child at the Dentist
Visiting the dentist can be a difficult experience for any child. However, this experience can be significantly harder for special needs children. What seems to many children to be an uncomfortable and frightening experience can be truly overwhelming for children with special needs. There are steps that parents can take to deal with these challenges.
Choose the right dentist.
Parents of a special needs child should ensure they choose a dentist with the specific experience and approach necessary to meet their child’s needs. A general dentist is unlikely to be as effective as the best pediatric specialist in the greater Nebraska area.
Most children benefit from seeing a pediatric dentist in terms of both results and experience. By choosing a special needs pediatric dentist with experience treating special needs children, you can make the entire experience go much more smoothly.
When you choose a dentist with specific training and experience in this area, every aspect of their practice will have been developed with special needs children in mind, providing compassionate care in a calm and welcoming environment.
Among many special needs children, familiarity and routine are incredibly important. One of the most difficult aspects of any visit to the dentist is the disruption of a routine. Starting dental visits from a young age can help establish the normality and regularity of seeing the dentist for your child.
Generally, the first dentist visit is recommended either when your child’s first tooth emerges or before their first birthday, whichever comes first. From there, most children should have routine checkups every six months unless the dentist tells you otherwise.
Discuss the visit with your child.
Even if your child is familiar with dental visits, talking about what to expect before the visit can help prepare them more effectively. You can discuss what will happen during the visit and why it’s important for them to see the dentist.
Talking through the experience ahead of time can be a significant benefit. If you take the time to discuss the visit with your child every time, it becomes part of a routine. This provides additional benefits, making the experience more familiar and less difficult for your child.
Don’t miss regular checkups.
Regular checkups are an important part of preventive dental care for every patient. Keeping up with regular checkups maintains a routine for your child, preserving the familiarity of the experience. Missing checkups could cause the next visit to come as an unfamiliar surprise that could be difficult.
Checkups help reduce the likelihood and impact of dental issues. When problems are caught early, it’s more likely that the treatment required will be minimal. Missing checkups can lead to major dental issues developing that will require more intensive treatment, which can be difficult for a special needs child.
Sedation Options for Special Needs Children
For some special needs children, attempting to prepare them and keep them calm during the procedure is not enough. In these cases, sedation dentistry may be necessary for the child’s benefit and to ensure that the dentist can complete the treatment.
Because every child is unique, their sedation needs can vary widely. Working with a special needs pediatric dentist will ensure that your child receives the individual care that they need.
Nitrous oxide sedation is one option that can manage anxiety and stress during treatment. It works quickly and is both safe and effective. General anesthesia is another potential form of sedation dentistry, depending on the nature of the treatment in question and your child’s individual needs.
Talk it through with your dentist.
As a parent, you’re the individual with the closest and most complete understanding of your child’s unique needs. Discussing these needs with a pediatric dentist ahead of time is vital to ensuring effective treatment and a manageable experience for your child.
By preparing ahead of time, you’re getting the best foundation for your child’s experience. Discussing accommodations beforehand also reduces the amount of time spent in the dentist’s office, making things easier on your child.
Special Needs Pediatric Dentistry in Greater Nebraska
The team at Pediatric Dental Specialists of Greater Nebraska provides effective dental care for special needs children. We have the experience and training necessary to provide the best experience for your child. Our office fosters a calm and welcoming environment at all times, and we take a deliberate approach to your child’s treatment. You can choose the best pediatric specialist in greater Nebraska area to handle your child’s routine checkups and any other dental needs. Contact Pediatric Dental Specialists of Greater Nebraska to schedule an appointment today and discuss your child’s unique needs.