Dental Care For Patients With Special Needs:

Those with special health care needs require oral treatment like everyone else, but they benefit the most from seeing a dentist who specifically caters to these patients.

  1. Dental Care With Special Needs For Children
  2. Measures Taken To Deal With The Problem
  3. Some Facts About Dental Troubles Of Patients With Special Needs

If dental procedures need several dental visits to have them done completely or if dental appointments cannot be availed easily, how painful could the situation be for a physically challenged person! People with special needs are the subject matter for this article and this segment is inclusive of patients lacking normalcy of developmental as well as cognitive conditions. Individuals with autism, Alzheimer’s disease, Down syndrome, spinal cord injuries and numerous other conditions make standard dental procedures more than difficult.

dental care with special needs

Dental care for childrens with special needs:

According to the AAPD (American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry) special health care needs may be defined as “any physical, developmental, mental, sensory, behavioral, cognitive, or emotional impairment”. The condition may be congenital, developmental, or even acquired through unforeseen events like disease, trauma, an environmental cause etc. This imposes limitations on the individual in performing their day-to-day activities. 

The AAPD also has recommendations on how to handle pediatric patients with special needs. Health care for such cases include an increased awareness and attention, adaptation, and effective measures that could be considered beyond the routine ones. Dealing with such patients therefore need a lot more than mere expertise. A compassionate and patient dealing capability coupled with helping assistants within the dentistry is a prior requirement for dealing with such cases.

In this post you will read through the unfortunate story of a kid in New York city whose mother had to run from pillar to post to get a RCT (Root Canal Therapy) done to her 15 year old daughter!

The child is presently in the 8th standard being a special needs child. Since birth, this girl was the sufferer of a rare condition named fucosidosis. It deteriorated the functionality of her brain day by day. Getting an X-ray done or a professional cleaning up of her teeth was extremely challenging. This was due to the need for more time and more hands to hold her arms and head in place.

The child’s mother used to take her out of school for the day and her husband would drive them to some place for a dental appointment. Unfortunately, they had taken her to at least eight dentists and root-canal specialists, with all of them declining to treat her. As the mother narrates, some did not even look at her teeth, let alone treating her!

Measures taken to deal with the problem:

So physical anomalies keep back many dentists from treating patients with disabilities. Traditionally, pediatric dentists (within their courses) are trained to treat patients with special needs, but the general dentists aren’t. Therefore adult people are at a greater chance of sufferance as far as getting a dental appointment is considered. Due to this, in 2006, a standard was set for these patients. The Commission on Dental Accreditation mandated all students to competently handle the special needs students. However the outcomes were less than satisfactory.

Therefore access still remains a formidable trouble for patients with such needs!

As a remedy to this a special wing of the NYU College of Dentistry has come up with new options for patients with disabilities. The norms have been regulated with respect to both adult and pediatric patients who have conditions like autism, cerebral palsy, dementia etc. There are separate rooms within the facility where patients can be sedated.

Some facts about dental troubles of patients with special needs:

The NYU educates nearly 10 percent of the nation’s dentists, so that handling the volume of the physically challenges patients can be easily dealt with.

Roughly 915,000 people are living with a disability in New York City alone and that accounts for potentially a lot of untreated teeth!

Many disabled people in the New York city, according to survey reports, refrain from seeing dentists at all. This is because many offices are not wheelchair-accessible. This is however a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act!

Another issue with the wheelchair-patients are that assistants usually have to help move them to a dental chair. For the patient himself too, this is a source of anxiety and therefore they generally tend to delay dental visits!

Addressing the case of special needs individuals is therefore an important aspect of modern dentistry. For instance when a Parkinson’s patient walks in with a dental trouble, an assistant is required to hold his head in place, another for retracting his tongue and yet another for suctioning, before the dentist performs his job. Thankfully however, in the recent years, the issue of dental care for physically challenged people has received a lot of effective attention from all the concerned authorities!

You may read also: A Dental Emergency Must Be Treated Immediately To Prevent Further Complications

What else you need more. What do you think about your dental visit with special care needs? If you need so, then do not hesitate, make your dental care visit with special needs.

10 Ways To Amp Up Your Oral Health Routine

While you may spend a few minutes at the sink every morning and night brushing your teeth, a visit to the dentist might reveal that it’s not enough. Thus, if your mouth is not getting the attention it needs, Colgate lists ten ways to help amp up your oral health routine.

Use The Right Technique

Perhaps the greatest misconception regarding brushing is that it should resemble a “sawing motion” or “scrubbing” action. On the contrary, gentle strokes using a soft-bristled toothbrush are best at removing food particles without harming sensitive gum tissues. Begin by holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, and use short brushing strokes, beginning at the top of the gum line as your brush down.

Be Sure You’re Brushing Long Enough

For some, brushing teeth is simply another activity to check off of a to-do list, and this causes them to rush through brushing. Thus, dental professionals recommend listening to a short song or video (at least two minutes) to ensure that you’re brushing long enough to thoroughly clean your teeth.

Use The Right Toothbrush

A toothbrush is not a one-size-fits-all. Be sure that you are picking a brush that is small enough to reach into the back sections of your mouth comfortably. For most adults, the average size is a small to medium head toothbrush.

The ADA Seal Is Important

Like toothbrushes, toothpastes are not created equally. Therefore, it’s important to look for the American Dental Association (ADA) seal when choosing your toothpaste.

Floss The Right Way

Many experience frustration when they floss. Yet, if you haven’t perfected your flossing technique, here are other tools available to make sure that you’re cleaning between your teeth the right way. Look for flossers, floss picks and orthopicks for easy cleaning between teeth.

Use Mouthwash

Even with the right toothbrush, toothpaste, and good brushing and flossing habits, mouthwash rinses away tiny debris and particles left behind, while freshening breath.

Clean Your Toothbrush

Every time you brush your teeth, bacteria and other particles adhere to the bristles of your brush. Thus, it’s important to clean your toothbrush after every use. This is simple, and only requires a good rinse.

Change Out Your Toothbrush

It’s a good idea to change out your toothbrush for a new one every 3-4 months to ensure that your teeth are getting a thorough cleaning.

Use A Tongue Cleaner

Perhaps there’s a rigid or bumpy surface on the back of your toothbrush. This is called a tongue scraper, and it’s a valuable tool to scrape bacteria off of the tongue.

Be Careful When/How Your Snack

Are you a late-night snacker? It’s important to brush your teeth before bed, even if you are not eating a sugary snack. Food particles left on teeth and gums cause bacteria to multiply!

At Smile Avenue Family Dentistry in Cypress, Dr. Patrick Vuong helps patients achieve long-term success with a focus on preventative dentistry and optimal oral health. Call today to schedule your appointment!

Posted on Behalf of Smile Avenue Family Dentistry