Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles, Oral Care, Special Needs Dentistry.

young girl with special needsAt our pediatric dental office in Long Island, we’re dedicated to taking care of all of our community’s smallest smiles. Yet we understand that coming to the dentist can be a bit scary for kids. And if your child has special needs, a dental appointment can be terrifying. As a parent, you not only want to make sure your child sees a dentist that will keep her smile healthy, you also want to ensure the dentist and dental team has the ability to treat your child the way she deserves. That makes finding the best pediatric dentist for your special needs child an important endeavor. We’re here to help.

A Look at Special Needs Dentistry

Special needs dentistry is a very important type of dental care that revolves around getting children with special health care needs (SHCN) appropriate care. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) classifies special health care needs any “limiting condition that requires medical management, health care intervention, and/or use of specialized services or programs.” These conditions can take on a variety of forms including:

  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • Developmental
  • Cognitive
  • Sensory/Mental Impairment

Choosing a Special Needs Dentist in Long Island

Children with any special health care needs should visit a dentist at least twice a year to protect their oral health. To get the best possible care in a comforting and understanding environment, you should look for a dentist that has additional training and experience working with kids with advanced needs.

Most pediatric dentists need this training in order to be a true pediatric dentist. In fact, they take two years or more of additional education beyond dental school alone. During this time, pediatric dentists learn the difference between treating adults and children, including extensive training in behavior management and sedation in order to help get children the care they need. Often this also includes how to treat those with special needs appropriately and thoroughly.

Ideally your child will see a dentist that has advanced education and experience on working with special needs children. You should look for a dentist that specifically says they’re trained to treat SHCN patients. Most importantly, you should choose one who makes your child feel as comfortable as possible, and who makes you comfortable too.

At our Long Island pediatric dental office, we’re here to take care of little smiles of all kinds, including our most special patients. If you’re looking for a dentist who can help your child with special needs get and keep a healthy mouth, give us a call to schedule an appointment.