Everyone benefits from quality dental care. Unfortunately, too many people go without for various reasons. Patients with special needs are often in need of oral care. These patients often require some type of modification or special assistance in order to access and/or feel comfortable in the dental office setting. Attending to the oral needs of such a person requires a team effort for care providers and dental service providers.
Not Just About Different Abilities
Quite often when special needs are mentioned, people assume the conversation is going to revolve around those who are differently abled. While this group certainly includes such individuals, there are also others who may or may not be differently abled, and they also have special needs.
An example of such a person could be one who suffers from extreme anxiety. Under normal circumstances, he or she can function normally, but mention a trip to the dentist’s office and the world looks completely different.
Some elderly individuals also fit into this category. They may be fine with visiting the dental office; however, they may not hear well, or may not be able to move with ease. These situations may also require some assistance in accessing dental care and once in the office, modifications may be needed in order to assure the patient’s comfort.
Helping the Patient
Perhaps you have noticed from time to time that individuals with special needs, the elderly and others sometimes are overlooked or not included in the conversation that pertains to them; i.e., they are often treated like children regardless of their age.
Patients with special needs are still patients first. Determining the issue that needs to be addressed while ensuring that the patient is comfortable, calm and relaxed is critical. In the past, it was very difficult for such patients to get oral care. This lack of care resulted in a higher rate of dental problems for people with special needs. Fortunately, things have changed considerably and help for the patient with special needs is available.
Dental Care for the Special Needs Person in Your Life
If you are a person with special needs or there is someone in your life with special needs, there are certain steps you can take to make sure oral care is accessed.
- Let the dentist know ahead of time that you or your loved one has special needs. The dental team may need to make certain modifications, depending on what the needs may be.
- Speak with the dentist about any special requirements that would make the dental visit more successful.
- Be sure to ask questions of your dentist to rest any fears or doubts. You may want to write them down prior to the appointment so you do not forget anything.
- If follow up appointments are needed, be sure to keep them.
Since oral health is linked to your overall health, it is important that you get the dental care you need to keep your mouth healthy and in good condition.
Make an appointment with Mint Dental today. We can address all your dental needs and we do it with excellence, kindness and compassion.
Posted on behalf of
190 Riverwind E. Drive, Suite 201
Pearl, MS 39208
Phone: (601) 882-5600