Down Syndrome Dentist

Dental Issues In People With Down Syndrome

There are many dental anomalies and anatomical soft tissue problems that one should be aware of that can occur in people with Down Syndrome. These problems can negatively impact one’s oral health.

The two main factors that contribute to the dental problems of those with Down Syndrome are the orofacial and skeletal development within a patient. The biggest changes in anatomical development are in the cranial base, the mid-third portion of the face, and the area that lies between the mandible and maxilla. The most affected portion of soft tissue in the facial structure is the tongue, which is often protruded and enlarged. The reason for this protrusive appearance is the narrow dental arch in which the tongue is forced to rest in. This can lead to mouth breathing and “dry mouth“.

Beyond the tongue, the adenoids and tonsils are also enlarged. Some other dental anomalies include:

  • Decreased tooth size
  • Decreased crown to root ratio
  • Delayed eruption
  • Hypodontia

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Going To The Dentist With Down Syndrome

There are many patients with down syndrome who find it difficult to communicate certain things when at the dentist, much of which has to do with how much pain they may be feeling. Unfortunately, even simple oral health issues can become major issues if they are not addressed appropriately or promptly.

Many of our St. Louis Down Syndrome patients, especially younger patients, have trouble understanding what is going on when they are at the dentist. If your loved one is a bit wary when they are around strangers, having a stranger with tools in their mouth can be quite a frightening situation for them to be in.

This is why we feel it is of the utmost importance that your loved one with Down Syndrome feels comfortable without fear or anxiety so that the dental visit goes as smoothly as it possibly can. Luckily, there are many ways in which we help Down Syndrome patients to cope with dental visits.

Sedation And Patients With Down Syndrome

There are many patients who benefit from sedation when they visit the dentist. If a patient cannot properly cooperate with a dentist during their appointments, sedation can sometimes be necessary in order to get the work done.

This is why many patients opt for sedation dentistry, which is exactly what we offer here at The Dental Anesthesia Center in St. Louis. With patients who have Down Syndrome, sedation dentistry is not uncommon at all. In fact, sedation dentistry, or sleep dentistry, is one of the most utilized methods to keep patients calm and relaxed during their trips to the dentist. There are many different levels of sedation as well, which range from mild sedation to where the patient is still awake and conscious, to heavy sedation, where a patient is completely asleep.

Of course, there aren’t many people who enjoy having someone poke around in their mouths with various tools, and for someone who suffers from serious sensory problems, such as a person with Down Syndrome, sedation can be the best option.

Sedation is especially important if the patient is in for extensive dental work, such as a major surgery, where they need to be able to stay completely still throughout a long procedure.

Making Your Appointment

If you have a loved one with Down Syndrome, you probably know how difficult it can be to find the proper dentist out there. Fortunately, there are dentists who specialize in working with patients who have Special Needs and may require sedation. Dentists in this field require additional training to be able to communicate with their patients and utilize sedation options to work with their special needs.

The unfortunate thing is, finding these dentists can prove to be quite a chore. Here at The Dental Anesthesia Center in St. Louis, we have been working with special needs patients, including those with Down Syndrome, for over 30 years.

We know how important it is to have oral health care for everyone, and we’re here to provide the best Down Syndrome dentistry St. Louis. Give us a call at (314) 862-7844 to schedule an appointment with one of our top dentists. We look forward to meeting you!