Special Needs Dentistry FAQS

At Hines Little Smiles, we provide not just pediatric dentistry services, but dental care for individuals with special needs. Often, special needs dentistry leaves people with lots of questions, so let’s see if we can clear some of these up.

What is special needs dentistry?

Special needs dentistry provides dental work for those who struggle from mental, physical, sensory, developmental or cognitive forms of impairment. The focus is on creating a calm environment which minimizes any anxiety for the patient.

Do special needs children have certain dental needs?

Often, special needs children do have special dental needs. Some special needs children might be more prone to tooth decay due to having some type of oral trauma, problems brushing their teeth, or through taking medication. It’s important to have regular dental visits with the dentist to keep on top of any issues.

Which types of preventive care can help special needs children?

All children will benefit from brushing and flossing regularly and a healthy diet. It’s also a good idea to have professional teeth cleanings which can get rid of the plaque build-ups that can contribute to gingivitis. Fluoride treatment or an antibacterial toothpaste is also a great idea to prevent problems from developing. Dental sealants can also be useful for special needs children to help prevent tooth decay. Dental sealants are plastic coatings which are painted on the chewing surfaces of the teeth to act as a protection for the enamel.

Are pediatric dentists trained in special needs dentistry?

Yes, pediatric dentists are both trained and prepared for special needs dentistry services. Here at Hines Little Smiles, our special needs dentistry team is well trained in this expertise and understands that dental care for special needs children is all about creating a calm and relaxed atmosphere. It’s key that every child feels safe and comfortable at the dentist.

What if a child isn’t able to relax?

It can sometimes be necessary to use sedation dentistry to help relaxation and aid the receiving of treatments. Such procedures will always be performed with safety in mind. The medications and behavior of the child will be considered and evaluated carefully beforehand.

What should I do before the appointment?

Before you bring your child to the dentist, it’s a good idea to have a talk with them about it to help ease any worries they may have. You can explain the process in a positive light and help them to understand why it’s important that we all go to the dentist. Helping to establish the dentist as something exciting may help your child’s anxiety a little. We can help you to continue these conversations on your child’s first appointment. Please contact us if you have any other questions regarding special needs dentistry.

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A dentist demonstrates to a child patient a large dental model for educational purposes during a consultation.