Many parents do not realize it, but there are many different fields and specialties in dentistry, and some dentists are more equipped to deal with certain things than others. One field is special needs dentistry. Most people have never heard of this field of dentistry let alone know who could benefit from it. Get to know more about the potential reasons to take your child to a special needs dentist. Then, you can better decide if special needs dentistry is the right option for your child.
Your Child Has Autism
Autism is a disorder that can affect nearly every aspect of your child's life. They may be sensitive to light, colors, sounds, and the like which can make going to the doctor or the dentist difficult. A special needs dentist is skilled at working with patients who have autism.
They can and will adjust things in their office to make things easier on your child, such as taking down colorful paintings in the room your child will be treated in. They can provide noise-cancelling headphones for your child to use during treatment to avoid scary sounds. And they will have patience and understanding with your child throughout the process.
Your Child Has Down Syndrome
Another condition that special needs dentists are familiar with is Down's syndrome. Down's syndrome can cause a number of developmental differences in the mouth and teeth that a special needs dentist is highly familiar with including late tooth eruption, microdontia, and a strong gag reflex.
Again, the special needs dentist will be patient and understanding with your child if they are uncooperative and will go the extra mile to make them comfortable in the dentist's office. They may even have the child come in and do a "practice" session before doing any actual dental work on the child.
Your Child Has Schizophrenia or Another Serious Mental Health Disorder
Mental health disorders are another issue that can be addressed through special needs dentistry. Oftentimes, self-care is difficult for people with depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and some other mental health disorders. This means that care of the teeth may be poor if existent.
Special needs dentists understand the difficulties of dealing with such mental illnesses and will not shame your child if their teeth are in bad shape as a result of their mental health disorder. Additionally, certain medications given for these disorders can cause problems like dry mouth which the dentist can help treat.
Some medications also cause tardive dyskinesia (involuntary movements of the facial muscles). A special needs dentist is familiar with this phenomenon and will work with your child to treat them in spite of the added difficulties tardive dyskinesia can cause.
Now that you know some of the reasons to take your child to a special needs dentist, you can be sure you contact a special needs dentist as soon as possible if these situations apply to your child.Share