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Special Needs Pediatric Dentistry

At Cumberland Dental Specialists, we recognize that all children deserve the very best dental treatment. That’s why our experienced pediatric dentists and skilled dental team are trained to provide exceptional care to children with special needs who may need a little more help and compassion. We recognize that treating special needs children can present unique challenges, and we are happy to provide a safer, more comforting, and reduced-stress environment in which to provide preventive and restorative treatment. If you have a special needs child, talk to us about your necessities and goals, and we will schedule a consultation to determine your child’s preferences and identify the best way to move forward.

What Is Special Needs Dentistry?

Special needs dentistry is an approach to providing dental care for patients with special health care needs (SHCN). Children with developmental or other disabilities require comprehensive dental treatment just like other children, although they may require a different approach than a child without SHCN. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recognizes the unique qualities of each individual and recommends certain actions be implemented to ensure the best experience possible for young ones with physical, developmental, behavioral, cognitive, or emotional impairment. Experiencing a dental concern can be particularly hard for someone who may not understand or know how to respond to oral discomfort. Furthermore, even a routine office visit can be overwhelming, as it requires having someone they may not be familiar with putting their hands in the child’s mouth. It is our goal to put children at greater ease and provide a compassionate response to their dental needs.

What Services Are Provided for Special Needs Patients?

We offer a comprehensive selection of dental treatments to our SHCN patients. We emphasize preventive techniques, including excellent home-care and hygiene habits, which are designed to reduce the risk of developing caries (cavities) and other concerns. Should a problem arise, we perform an expansive range of restorative techniques, and we also offer orthodontic treatment.  Our goal is to get your young one to feel as relaxed as possible in our office, and to make the experience as non-disruptive as is feasible. Each SHCN child has unique triggers and preferences, which is why we encourage a phone conversation initially to discuss how we can best address your child’s needs, followed by an in-person consultation. Some of the typical SHCN disorders we see include:

  • ADHA
  • Anxiety
  • Asthma
  • Autism
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Cleft Lip & Palate
  • Congenital Cardiac Disorder
  • Diabetes
  • Down Syndrome
  • Eating Disorders
  • Epilepsy
  • Hearing Impairment
  • HIV
  • TBI

Preventive Strategies

Many people experience anxiety when visiting the dentist. While we endeavor to make every child’s experience pleasant, we also work to reduce unnecessary dental visits by teaching excellent oral health habits. During your child’s appointment, we will discuss how to brush and floss correctly to minimize damage to the teeth and oral structures. We want to keep you involved in these examinations, not only to help your child feel more comfortable but also so you and your child can be partners in their dental care. You are most likely the person your SHCN child feels most at ease with, and she or he will look to you for help and understanding throughout this process. By showing dentistry is important, but not scary, we can help each young person develop the right skills and attitude to achieve a healthy mouth and a happy smile.

Contact our practice to learn more about how we treat children with special needs. Our team is standing by and ready to help.