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 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. This can lead to mouth breathing and “dry mouth.”

down syndrome dentist
Always a great experience. Carrie does a wonderful job keeping my smile healthy and bright. Dr. Thoms is always very nice and professional. They make going to the dentist much less stressful!
The Dental Anesthesia Center (DAC) is truly unique. They provide all forms of anesthesia - and a wide range of dental treatments. I have been a patient there for 17 years - and I continue to be impressed with the legacy of expertise and kindness built by Dr. Hoffmann and his team.If your dental phobia and dental issues have made you feel hopeless ... I encourage you to contact the DAC for a consultation. That's what I did 17 years ago - and it proved to be a very good decision and a true blessing.
I just had my first visit with Dr. Thoms. He took his time and thoroughly explained everything to me about sedation and dental procedures. He is extremely knowledgeable and very friendly. Comfort of their patients is utmost in their minds at this practice and Dr. Thoms, Emily and Robyn are outstanding! Highly recommended!
I just had my implant surgery 3/22 with Dr. Thoms.The patients Dr. Thoms has with me is simply INCREDIBLE!!!!! I know I’m a lot to deal with. I am so blessed to have crossed paths with Dr. Thoms.His entire staff goes above and beyond ANY dental office I’ve ever dealt with in the past. from the bottom of my heart, I am so glad that I made the decision to try the dental anesthesia center..
Dr. Hoffman and team are the most amazing dental team you will ever meet. Have been a patient for years and will continue to do so. If you have nerves about going to the dentist, they will eliminate those fears very quickly.
AS I SIT HERE THIS MORNING I AM GRATEFUL FOR GOD'S MERCY AND THE STAFF OF DOC. HOFFMAN !!! I AM HOWEVER STILL TO EMBARRASSED FOR THE WALK OF SHAME BRINGING HIS GIFT . I LOST TWO DAYS AND WAS CHOKING ON 19 STICHES EATING SUCKERS SAME DAY SEEMS TO BE WITH MYSELF !!! SO WITH MY SINCERE APPRECIATION, I APOLOGIZE TO ALL !!! EXCELLENT SKILLS IN ALL ASPECTS.
As a 73 year old man, I have been to several dentist’s and none compare to Dr. Thoms and Dr. Behl. The entire staff is very knowledgeable and accommodating. I have had some major work done and I/V sedation is definitely the way to go. Five stars to the entire team at DAC. I highly recommend their services.
These folks are great!! Always very professional and personable and don't try to over sell you on what you need done!! I would highly recommend!!
I love my friends at the Dental Anesthesia Center! This place has the nicest clinical staff and they do such a wonderful job for any issue that arises. They are prompt and thorough. I love all the hygienists, but especially my personal hygienist, Carrie. My dentist, Dr. Biehl is knowledgeable, friendly, highly skilled and fun.I started taking my kids here when they needed procedures under anesthesia. Once my former dentist retired (and I realized the DAC also does family dentistry), I switched the entire family to this office. Best decision I ever made.I’m also so impressed with the experience this team has treating individuals with special needs.
Response from the owner: Thank you so much for taking the time to post your kind review!
I went for a consultation at the center. I was terrified. I saw Dr.Sean Thoms he was so professional and caring. I have had five different consultations at other dentist offices trying to make a final decision on who I feel more comfortable with and no other doctor was as caring or attentive as Dr. Thoms. He called me a couple of days later with SEVERAL different ways he could give the results I wanted. I’m truly blessed to have found Dr Thoms. The entire staff was so professional and attentive. I have made the final decision to put my care in the hands of Dr Sean Thoms
Response from the owner: Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us, Juanita. Your positive words mean so much to us.Cheers,The Dental Anesthesia Center
Maris E. Behl DDS Is a wonderful dentist. She did extensive work including several dental crowns and fillings. There was little to no pain during all of her procedure’s. I am 86 years old and have been to more dentists than I can count. Dr Behl is by far the best of all. If you want a friendly disciplined and accomplished dentist, you will be glad you used her work.
Response from the owner: Thank you so much for your kind words, James. We really appreciate you taking the time out to share your experience with us.Cheers,The Dental Anesthesia Center
Best dental office in St. Louis hands down! It’s a great place to go for sedation or just general dentistry! Highly recommend!
I recently had fillings done by Dr. Thoms. His crew that was helping prep me to go under did an amazing job. I have really bad trauma (& anxiety) from previous dental work and permanent nerve damage from a surgery I had in 2021. The staff and Dr. Thoms made sure that I was calm and comfortable. This has probably been the best experience I have ever had, thanks to this dental clinic. The front end staff is patient and kind to their patients. I would most definitely recommend anyone to go here if they have dental anxiety. Dr. Thoms explained everything very thoroughly during our consult months prior and also the day of my fillings. After we were finished with my filings, I told him about my bottom teeth pushing too much on my 8 and 9 (another issue I had been dealing with after my last dental surgery), he was more than happy to help and filed down my bottom teeth. I am relieved that he was able to do that for me, even though it was not initially planned. The price of the fillings, anesthesia and odontoplasty/enameloplasty was reasonable. I wouldn't want to pay any less because the outcome was worth it.
The entire staff is always very compassionate and patient with my daughter who’s autistic😊 I am a patient as well the staff and the doctor are very knowledgeable and are capable of answering every question explaining in detail to my satisfaction. I am in the process of bringing my grandson to become a patient as well keep up the superb service 👏
I would highly recommend DAC to anyone. I brought our two boys (ages 6 & 3) in to have their routine cleaning. The moment we walked in we were greeted with smiles and warm hellos. The staff does a great job of talking to the boys, saying hello, and making them feel extra special. Carrie cleaned their teeth, and she is awesome. The boys were both so comfortable, she tells them exactly what she is doing, and makes sure they are ok the whole time. She talked with them about their summer plans, school, and fishing. Then Dr. Behl came in to check everything out. She was so personable, informative and positive with the little ones. She explained things very well, and she was so patient as they asked questions or had something to tell her. Thank you to all of the staff at DAC, for being so warm and making this a great experience for the little ones.
5 Stars!I skipped going to the dentist for 6 years and what a mistake that was. Everyone at this office is extremely nice and a pleasure to deal with.Laina, their hygenist is awesome even though she is a Cubs fan. I actually look forward to my 3 month cleanings now and will not miss another.Dr. Thoms and his team (I requested Julie as an assistant I would do the same :)) were amazing. As I said I skipped going for 6 years so I had some work to be done and chose to be put to sleep instead of 4 visits. They make sure you are as comfortable as possible and even take the time to check up on you after to make sure you are healing properly.Last but not least, Marie and the entire front office are great. Always a pleasure to deal with and are very accommodating. They are the face of the operation and the tone of the visit is set with them. The amount of care and compassion they show the patients in the waiting room is beyond extraordinary.
I have a special needs son that needed some work done. The Dental Anesthesia Center is an amazing place I can't imagine Trevor being in any better hands. We love Dr. Thoms and his staff. So nice and caring. A little on the expensive side but very well worth the care he received. I would recommend to anyone that has special needs, fear of dentistry or just in need of a dentist.
It can be frightening to have to put a two-year-old under anesthesia. The staff and Dr. Thoms took the time to explain the treatment options.The process went well, and the services were outstanding. Everyone was polite and empathetic, from the front desk receptionist to the dentists. The customer service was excellent. I rarely post reviews, but I do so because I want others to know that they can trust and feel safe with their care. The Dental Anesthesia Center comes highly recommended from this mama bear.
My son has autism and a lot of anxiety around medical procedures. This is the most understanding and compassionate group of people, I am so grateful we found them. The doctor calls personally to check up on us after the appointment. Even though we only come once a year they remember my son's needs without me having to explain everything all over again. They are always on time, organized, and transparent about billing. I wish all of our medical appointments could go as smoothly as they do here.
Absolutely wonderful!My five year old had to have extensive dental work done and from start to finish the dental anesthesia center delivered five star work !Going to the dentist is scary enough but having to take your own child to be put under was next level and the care he received from the nurses and dr was mind easing.
Very kind and compassionate staff. They took excellent care of my special needs kiddo and took extra time to make sure it was done right. I would highly recommend.
beyond pleased with our experience with Dr. Hoffman!! My son, Cameron, had work done and everything turned out way better than I could've ever expected. Dr Hoffman saved all of his teeth, where other dentist told me the only option for two of his teeth were to be pulled. His smile is so beautiful and I couldn't think them enough! They were sooo kind!! The dental hygienist were so sweet, and throughly explained everything to me. There was no judgement. They made this whole process so comfortable. Yes, it was pricey, but worth EVERY penny. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
Response from the owner: Thank you so much for taking the time to share. We are so appreciative.
So caring, so nice, as others said, a little higher priced. But it is worth every penny. I can't describe how great everyone is
Response from the owner: Thank you so much for taking the time to share this positive review. It is very appreciated!
We love all the workers there. Their very welcoming staff, but very professional. We’ve been going there for about 15 years.
Dr Sean Thoms and his staff were great! The office is very welcoming and they yook very great care of my 2year old. I would recommend them to the world!
Dr. Hoffman and his staff are amazing, friendly and caring. I have high anxiety and fear of dentists due to my past bad experiences, but the Dental Anesthesia Center made me feel at ease and comfortable. Had a lot of dental work done in one visit while sedated and recovered well. Now I have my smile back thanks to Dr. Hoffman and his team. If youre a person like me I definantly recommend you the Dental Anesthesia Center.
Response from the owner: Thank you Lejla, we are happy to help!
My son is in need for oral surgery and Dr. Thoms was so kind and gentle with my son! We are so blessed to have found this team!
Response from the owner: Thanks Taylor!
Very professional and clean environment
Response from the owner: Thank you Alen!
My 9yr old daughter was afraid of going to the dentist. I was referred to Dental Anesthesia and I must say, they were AWESOME!! Dr Sean Thoms along with the staff were wonderful. They explained everything they were going to do to my daughter and kept me well informed during her procedure. They allowed me to be by her side until she was sedated. They even called later in the day just to check on her. My daughter said they made her feel very comfortable and would want to return to this practice for future procedures.
Response from the owner: Thank you so much for your kind words Tonya!
I have bad anxiety when visiting the dentist die to a bad experiencein my part. However, coming here has changed all of that. This is a great office with a wonderful friendly staff and amazing dentist. I always feel comfortable and welcomed when I come to their officefor an appointment.
Response from the owner: Thank you so much Stacey!
Best dental office for all your dental needs! Highly recommend!
We are so thankful that another dentist recommended The Dental Anesthesia Center to us. Our little boy needed special care due to his MTHFR mutation. Dr. Thoms was very thorough during our initial consultation, answering every question we could think of. When our son had his dental procedure under general anesthesia, Dr. Thoms and everyone else we encountered there served us with compassion and great concern for our son's well-being. We could not have asked for a better experience! Now our son is looking forward to his 6 month check-up, and we will recommend Dr. Thoms any opportunity we have to do so.
The office felt welcoming, and the staff cordial. My wait time was short and the staff treated my husband as if he had no disability at all. Dr. Thoms explained everything in detail and was very personable which made us comfortable. I will be taking Dr. Thoms card back to my current dentist office and also my job at the doctor's off I work at as a reference for others who might need their services.
Last visit was 14 years ago. I need to make appointment soon. Bad tooth, not sure what else. These guys understand my anxiety and will put me out..wake up..all done!! These are The Only Staff I trust, 100% !!
Response from the owner: Mary, we are sorry to hear about your tooth! And thank you so much for your kind review! Now lets get that tooth taken care of and get you out of discomfort. Just call the office 314-862-7844 to set up an appointment. We would love to see you again! 🙂
These guys are fantastic! If you are not going to the dentist because of a bad or painful experience this is the place to go.I was one of those people not going for way too long out of fear and anxiety. One day I had a horrible tooth ache, I put it off too long, the pain was unbearable and I didn`t have a dentist.Thank God I found The Dental Anesthesia Center. Don`t wait for this to happen. I have been a patient now for last fifteen years and I highly recommend you going here. You will be glad you did. The whole staff is the best. .
Response from the owner: Mike,We are so glad you found us and to hear that our team is able to make you feel completely comfortable at the dentist. 🙂 Its our pleasure to have you as a patient! Thank you so much for your kind review! See you at your next dental appointment!
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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

Going To The Dentist With Down Syndrome

Many patients with down syndrome 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

Many patients 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 to get the work done.

This is why many patients opt for sedation dentistry, which we offer here at The Dental Anesthesia Center in St. Louis. With patients who have Down Syndrome, sedation dentistry is not uncommon at all. 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, which range from mild sedation, 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 must 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. 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 communicate with their patients and utilize sedation options to accommodate their special needs.

Unfortunately, finding these dentists can prove to be quite a chore. Here at The Dental Anesthesia Center in St. Louis, we have worked 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 in 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!

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