A special needs dentist treats patients with orofacial disorders and physical, mental, developmental, cognitive, emotional, and sensory disabilities. Patients with special needs may encounter difficulties with dental care that are easily missed. The patient may, for instance, find it hard to lay flat in the dental chair. They may need more emotional support during routine exams or may not comprehend what is going on throughout treatment.
A special needs dentist and other staff members who deal with special needs patients must identify these problems and adapt quickly to devise solutions that do not jeopardize the quality of treatment. It is important to account for many variables and get the necessary education for special needs dentistry.
Appointments with a special needs dentist
Patients with special needs often need more time and personalization than other patients. As a result, their appointments are usually scheduled during less busy periods, just like appointments for more difficult dental procedures. The dentist and the dental team will personalize their approach, making the patient's comfort their priority throughout the procedure.
Before any examinations or treatments, many special needs dentists require that patients who need special accommodations have an initial consultation visit. This presents a chance to meet with the dentist, discuss requirements, and collaborate on determining which modifications would be most effective for the patient.
This is especially beneficial for individuals with not-so-obvious requirements, such as complicated concealed pain problems or cognitive impairments, but all patients with special needs may find it beneficial. It also enables the dentist and staff to prepare for the next appointment in advance, ensuring that everything is in order.
Choosing a dentist for people with special needs
Patients should inform the receptionist if they or their child have any special requirements when scheduling the first appointment. The receptionist should be friendly and accommodating, as well as attentive and willing to provide recommendations.
The dentist and staff should demonstrate a basic knowledge of specific health care requirements and how they impact dental treatment throughout the consultation. It is unrealistic to expect them to specialize in a particular condition, but they should understand why flexibility is important and demonstrate a desire to listen and attempt to comprehend. Expect them to take a thorough medical history and make a note of any particular requests made.
Above all, special needs dentistry requires empathy, cooperation, and a sense of teamwork. Some special needs individuals may need general anesthesia owing to their particular difficulties, but it should never be administered just for the sake of convenience. A competent special needs dentist should deal with most health issues while keeping a positive attitude and delivering the same high-quality treatment as for any other patient.
The bottom line
It is important to see the special needs dentist regularly. Normally, this would be every six months, although some individuals need fewer visits while others require more frequent visits. To learn more about the services available at our dental office, book an appointment today.
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