Special needs patients require specialized dental care that is not available at every pediatric dental office. At NOVA Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, our goal is to provide our special needs patients with the same quality of care that their friends and classmates receive. We adapt our techniques to ensure positive outcomes; both our dental and orthodontic practices can handle a range of special needs diagnoses. From sedation methods to enhanced communication and positive reinforcement, NOVA Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics goes above and beyond to assist our special needs clients in getting the dental care they deserve.
What is Special Needs Dentistry?
Special needs dentistry is designed to guarantee the oral health of patients with a range of diagnoses. Patients may have intellectual disabilities, autism, ADD, ADHD, anxiety disorders, or behavioral issues. At our practice, special needs dentistry encompasses both modified patient care techniques and – when appropriate and approved by the patient’s family – sedation for more complex procedures. While many dentists don’t have much experience with accommodating special needs patients, we strive to create a loving and safe environment for these patients at NOVA Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics.
Patient Care Techniques for Special Needs Patients
Our dentists and orthodontists have completed extra training to serve patients with special needs. In addition, our doctors and staff have years of experience serving these clients respectfully and compassionately.
Some of our modified patient care practices include:
- a focus on consistency and routine
- extra attention to communication and demonstration (e.g. explaining and showing patients tools and equipment)
- positive reinforcement
- respect for sensory issues, like lighting and texture
We consult with our patients’ physicians to discuss medical histories and concerns when necessary. And perhaps most importantly, we take the time to make sure our special needs patients get to know our staff, technicians, and doctors to help them feel comfortable and secure.
Our doctors are known for their warm, heartfelt treatment of all patients – and we know these traits are especially important to our special needs clients.
Sedation Dentistry for Special Needs Patients
In most cases, we find that special needs patients do very well during short appointments. However, when a longer or more complicated procedure is required, sedation may be recommended.
We offer an array of sedation methods for our younger clients, including nitrous oxide and conscious sedation. For older special needs patients and children with high levels of anxiety, we often find that IV sedation is the best approach. Full sedation under the care of an anesthesiologist enables us to provide complete care without the patient becoming anxious or fearful during the procedure. We partner with a board-certified anesthesiologist who provides sedation services in our office, and we have had great success in treating patients with a range of conditions this way.
Care for Special Needs Patients into Adulthood
For many practices, sedation dentistry is the only approach when working with special needs patients. However, at NOVA Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, it is only one piece of the continuum of care we offer.
We often continue working with our special needs patients into adulthood. We build up trust over the years, so there is no reason to put that to waste! We are more than happy to treat our special needs patients even when they turn into adults. When additional treatment (such as oral surgery) is required, we have a referral list of trusted providers and can help prepare our patients for further care.
We are committed to treating all patients as individuals and to meeting their unique needs. If this can be accomplished with changes in technique, we are prepared to alter our practices. The close relationships we develop with our special needs patients and their families are vital to our success in meeting their oral health needs.
Personalized Care for Special Needs Patients
At NOVA Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, every client is unique. We believe that for special needs patients, understanding and accommodating fears and concerns is crucial. We welcome and respect our special needs patients and strive to provide them with the best possible care in a peaceful, friendly atmosphere.