Enjoying Better Dental Checkups

Special Needs Dental Services For Kids And Adults

Currently, there are 6.7 million children in the United States with special needs. There are equally as many, if not more, adults with the same special needs. Overall, that is a lot of people who require special care, education, and supports.

That includes special needs dental services. These children and adults need good dental care as much as the rest of the population, and dentists who provide these services are invaluable. If you care for a child or adult with special needs, here are just some of the extra services these dentists provide to make sure the dental appointment goes smoothly.

Pill Sedation 

Pill sedation means that the dentist will provide a sedative in pill form. Usually, the pill does not make the person with special needs unconscious; it just relaxes him/her into a state where it is easier for the dentist and hygienist to examine and restore teeth. This is a useful service if a special needs child or adult is extremely anxious in dental offices or is unable to sit still in the dental chair for more than a couple minutes.

General Anesthesia

General anesthesia is recommended and provided for any special needs patient that has a history of acting out or striking out during examinations and oral care. The anesthesia is given via an IV, and the arm in which the IV is inserted is typically wrapped with a lot of bandages. The bandages prevent the special needs patient from pulling the IV out until the anesthesia has taken effect. The bandages also keep the IV in after the procedure until a nurse or hygienist removes the IV.

Quiet Rooms with Low Lights

Kids and adults with autism, or who are highly sensitive to lights and sound, can relax in nearly sound-proof exam rooms with low lights. This is proven to be more calming to them in an already potentially anxious situation. If the child or adult you care for has these issues or developmental disorders and delays, be sure to request such an exam room when you call to make an appointment.

End of the Day Services

Some special needs kids and adults cannot handle a lot of strange faces and strange voices and bustling activity. As such, dentists who provide services to special needs patients often offer "end of day" appointments. This allows you to schedule dental appointments in the post-hours or last hour slots of each day to avoid the business, sounds, and extra bodies.