Special Needs Dentistry

There’s no question that children and adults with special health care needs require the same attention to their oral health as anyone else. Yet, special needs dentistry requires a devotion and unique consideration of a number of factors outside the realm of standard dental appointments. For instance, dentists and their team must understand the physical, emotional, developmental, cognitive, sensory impairment, or mental challenges that special needs patients face. In turn, they must be equipped to provide treatment for those with orofacial disorders and conditions. In essence, dentists providing special needs dentistry must take a multi-faceted approach, meaning that they perform dental care while remaining aware of any additional attention that the patient needs.

Generating A Positive Experience

Once dentists understand the challenges involved in treating patients with special needs, they make it their mission to generate a positive experience for the patient. This requires a high level of expertise with a compassionate approach.

To better understand, consider a patient that is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. As Alzheimer’s progresses, patients experience periods of forgetfulness and dementia. As a result, they often forget to clean their teeth. Even if caregivers attempt to help, patients may not respond. Visiting the dentist becomes especially important to help these patients maintain good oral health. Most importantly, however, the dentist and team must be mindful of the environment of their office to ensure that it is a comfortable and trusting place for the patient.

In some cases, patients experience difficulty swallowing, an enlarged tongue, or physical deformity that makes oral health complicated and frustrating. This is often the case for those with cerebral palsy. Yet, dental care is critical for these patients, because there is a greater chance of harmful bacteria building up in their mouth. Preventing infection is also important for patients with Down syndrome, as their immune systems are compromised.

No matter what obstacles patients face, establishing trust is key for special needs dentistry to be successful.

Everyone Deserve Top Quality Dental Care

Dr. Tanaka and the team at Seneca Family Dentistry believe that everyone deserves top quality dental care, and that’s why we welcome special needs patients to our practice in Wichita. Our special needs dental services include a full menu of preventative, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry that is sure to improve the comfort of our patients’ smiles, while fostering a healthy body and better quality of life.

For convenient scheduling, call Seneca Family Dentistry today.

Posted on behalf of Seneca Family Dentistry


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