Dental Appointments for Special Patients

The oral health challenges faced by special needs patients are as urgent as any member of the society. Their demands require different technique for dentists to be able to render effective dental care for them. They are also considered people with disabilities and with that come additional responsibility and modifications in the way dentists approach these patients. They are the patient population that suffers from physical or mental impairment which limits their routines or major activities. The statement comes from the Americans with Disabilities Act. They may also come with limitations and difficulty including in their hearing, vision, communication, mobility, or other activities in their daily living.

The medical treatments and advancements in dental technology have kept people with special needs acquire dental care and preserve their teeth and prevent oral health problems. Here are a few points that would make dental appointments for special needs patient more comfortable and encouraging.

WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE DENTAL OFFICE. Emergency dentist office is required to be wheelchair accessible. Some patients with special needs are able to transfer from the wheelchair to the dental chair. They are provided alternatives whether or not to allowed to do it by themselves or with caregivers. But for those who can’t, they can stay in their wheelchairs and the dentist can go on with the treatment or procedure.

PRESENCE OF CAREGIVERS. The presence of caregivers give the special needs patient emotional support and can give the dentist feedback, information about the patient’s disabilities. Plus communication assistance to keep the patient calm and relaxed before and during any procedure. They also are ones who provide the informed consent before any treatment.

PRE-TREATMENT PLANNING. This includes the dentist’s thorough assessment of the patient’s medical history, treatments and procedures involved completion of forms, and the coordination with the patient’s physician. This is to make sure that the treatment would be safe and went through a comprehensive evaluation. Patients with developmental conditions and have cognitive challenges would require adjustments in the treatment planning.

INFORMED CONSENT. This makes all the forms valid and the treatment properly explained along with all the risks, parameters, and the implication of the treatment.

COMMUNICATION. This part is very important to make the appointment successful. The dental plan should be delivered in a way that the patient understands or comprehends. Patients who acquire slight impairments in hearing also need other ways to communicate. The tone of the dentist’s voice, facial expression, and body language needs to be more gentle and inviting.

STABILIZATION. The patients need to be seated properly as most of them have trouble with balance and can sometimes be aggressive during dental appointments. The patients head and mouth need to stabilization to avoid accidents and for the treatment to be accomplished effectively.

The dental care practices for special patients are indeed lengthy and need preparation. These people have disabilities and it can limit them from taking care of their dental health. The right information and encouragement will definitely help them live more comfortable and free from dental anxiety and fear.

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