3 Services That Special Needs Dentists Provide

Dental care is important for everyone, but some people have special needs that make obtaining the proper care tough. Fortunately, special needs dentists are trained to help people who have unique needs due to medical conditions or disabilities. A special needs dentist will ensure that patients' needs are met in a safe and supportive environment. Here are three services that special needs dentists provide for their patients:

1. Accommodations For Sensory Processing Issues

Some people, such as those with autism, have sensory processing disorders that can cause them to become easily overwhelmed. This feeling of overwhelm can lead to meltdowns, displays of uncontrolled behavior that can be upsetting, and even dangerous to the patient and others. There are many unusual sights, sounds, and sensations at the dentist's office. This experience can be challenging for those with sensory processing disorders, but special needs dentists have tools to help.

Patients will be offered a weighted blanket or vest at the start of this treatment. Weighted blankets provide deep pressure therapy, which has a soothing effect. Dentists can also pause treatment at any time if patients begin to become overwhelmed, allowing them time to calm themselves. The result is a more successful and soothing dental exam.

2. Handicap Accessible Spaces And Equipment

Special needs dentists serve patients with physical disabilities as well. Their offices are designed to accommodate wheelchair users. Many special needs dentists have wheelchair lifts that allow them to tilt a patient's wheelchair to an angle suitable for dental examination purposes. Wheelchair users may be more comfortable in their own chairs. Wheelchair lifts allow special needs dentists and patients to avoid the hazards that come from lifting the patient out of their chair.

3. Various Levels Of Sedation

In some cases, sedation is required for a safe, successful dental appointment. Special needs dentists often utilize sedation in their work, to give patients comfortable and pleasant dental appointments. There are various levels of sedation available. Some patients require nothing more than nitrous oxide or an oral sedative that will help them remain calm throughout their appointment. Patients with more severe needs or dental phobias may need to be put under general anesthesia.

General anesthesia renders a patient fully unconscious. It can be used to perform oral surgery and more extensive dental work. There are some risks associated with general anesthesia, but a special needs dentist will weigh these risks against the benefits and needs of the patient.