Dental Anxiety — 5 Important Ways A Special Needs Dentist Can Help Patients With Additional Requirements
Dental anxiety is an extremely common problem, with up to 75% of adults in the United States reporting some amount of fear.
5 to 10% of those people suffer from enough dental anxiety that it can even be considered a phobia.
For patients who have additional needs, it can be even worse — and even when there is no fear, it can be troublesome going through dental procedures.
It doesn’t have to be so scary and difficult though, there are options that can help.
Dental Care With Extra Care
Many patients find going to a dentist who works with special needs patients can make a world of difference.
They have offices and procedure spaces set up in a way that makes the entire experience more comfortable.
Special needs dentists have a number of advantages over traditional dentistry for special needs patients.
Here are a few.
- Wheelchair Access
In a well-designed dental office, the aisles are wider and the bathrooms are accessible.
The real bonus though is that wheelchair users can stay in their chair while having their procedures done — there’s no need to use the dentist’s chair at all.
2. Trained Staff
The staff will be understanding about additional needs for their patients and have experience providing a calm environment.
This helps to prevent common misunderstandings that happen at traditional dental offices and leads to a better overall experience.
3. Conscious Sedation
For patients who require a bit of extra sedation, but wish to remain conscious.
This option includes an oral sedative, paired with nitrous oxide which puts patients at ease enough that they often fall asleep on their own.
Patients will be monitored for the duration of the sedation, and frequently remember very little of the procedure.
4. IV Sedation
This option isn’t available to most dentists, but special needs dental offices have their own in-house anesthesiologists.
The sedation is administered directly into the bloodstream and causes patients to enter a drowsy and pain-free state, before forgetting the procedure entirely.
5. General Anesthesia
For the most comfortable procedure possible, general anesthesia uses a combination of IV-administered and inhaled sedatives.
After being sedated by a specialist anesthesiologist, your loved one will be monitored throughout the entire procedure.
Patients who undergo general anesthesia are unable to remember the procedure or to respond while it’s in progress.
Who Is Special Needs Dentistry For?
Anyone with additional needs may want to consider a specialized dentist’s office.
If you’re unsure whether they can assist with your unique situation, it’s a good idea to call in advance and discuss booking an appointment.
Some of the common issues these dentists help with include intellectual disabilities, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, autism, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and Alzheimer’s.
Don’t settle for a regular dentist, get your loved ones the care they deserve.
Because they’re worth it.