Choosing a Dental Sedation Dentist for Your Child’s Special Needs

If your child experiences anxiety or is unable to cooperate for needed dental work, they can benefit from sedation dentistry.

Pediatric Sedation Dentist in St Louis

Dental procedures can cause anxiety for many adults and can be even more so for children. Having dental work can make children very anxious. The decision to use sedation is an important one and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. But there are many ways to help ease the anxiety of going to the dentist that comes with very little risk. If your child is having extensive dental work done, sedation can also mean fewer trips to the dentist.

How Dental Sedation Can Help Patients With Special Needs

Dental patients with special needs face different challenges when going to the doctor, and dental care is no exception. Disability implies mental or physical impairment that limits the patient’s abilities or actions. As such, doctors have to try different approaches to be able to treat the patient.

Dentistry is notoriously dreaded by patients, and dental anxiety is incredibly common, even in modern times, when we see unprecedented care for the patient’s comfort. For a patient with special needs, a visit to the dentist’s office can be more intimidating, as they face their own barriers as well.

When it comes to special needs patients and their caregivers, dentistry should have a different approach than with other categories of patients, and dentists are generally equipped to see special needs patients. However, they can also recommend a special needs dentist in case the patient’s treatment needs highly specialized attention.

Challenges Faced by Special Needs Patients

Depending on the impairment they have, special needs patients can face many types of challenges when going to the dentist.

  • Language barriers
  • Vision or hearing problems
  • Psychosocial challenges: increased anxiety, poor oral health education
  • Limited movement: they might need a wheelchair, or they might not be able to sustain a certain position for a long time
  • Needing more time to adjust to the environment, the staff and the dental procedures

Solutions in Dentistry for Special Needs Patients

Dental Sealants St. Louis

If they decide to see a general dentist, then special needs patients or their caregivers should inform the doctor beforehand of the impairment, so that the staff can prepare best for the visit. Usually, there will be a longer period of time dedicated to the appointment, additional staff might be present, and anything that might be necessary to make the procedure possible.

One of the most helpful solutions for special needs patients is to use sedation during dental procedures. Destined for patients with dentist related anxiety or the particular group of patients who we are talking about, sedation helps them keep calm and remain still during the procedure

Doctors can choose from different types of sedation, from the mildest to general anesthesia, depending on the impairment and the length and complexity of the procedure.

Oral Sedation Dentistry

Oral sedation dentistry involves the administration of medications that calm a patient creating a drowsy, sleep-like state. Oral Sedation patients are conscious, can breathe on their own, and are able to respond to questions. This is referred to as “Sedation Dentistry.” Some children who are experiencing anxiety and are unable to cooperate for needed dental treatment can benefit from oral sedation dentistry.

There are different levels of dental sedation. When you come in for your appointment, Dr. Hoffmann or Dr. Behl will decide which level is best for you or your child.

Special Needs Dentistry

If you have a child with special needs who are unable to cooperate for dental care, we are here to help you and your loved one here at The Dental Anesthesia Center. Developmentally disabilities, special needs, and medically compromised individuals suffer from an array of dental problems just like everyone else! From dental abscesses to throbbing pain, cavities and gum disease; everyone requires individual attention and dental care.

When you and your child come in for your appointment, Dr. Hoffmann, Dr. Thoms, or Dr. Behl will decide which option is the best for your child depending on their anxiety level and cooperation.

Pediatric Dentist St. Louis

At your child’s initial oral examination, there will be a visual examination, charting, diagnosis and treatment recommendations. We work hard to make your child feel at ease by providing exceptional patient care in a relaxed, convenient atmosphere. Depending on your child’s circumstances, we will discuss if sedation or anesthesia is right for your child.

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The only board-certified dental anesthesiologist in Missouri, including St. Louis.

Updated: April 14, 2022

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