Dentist Serving Children With Special Needs

Do you have young children with down syndrome or social phobias? If so, then it is important to find a special needs dentist who is prepared to accommodate you and your child. If you search online for a “kids dentist near me,” how can you know if the dentist will be one who is trained to serve children with special needs? There are several items you can look for to assess whether the pediatric dental group will be able to support your family.

  1. Offers pre-appointments. A pre-appointment is a time for your child to discover that the dentist’s office is a safe place. Your family will get the chance to see the spaces your child will encounter, meet the special needs dentist, and familiarize yourselves with any tools that the doctor utilizes to help children through the appointment. This experience will allow your child to feel comfortable in the dentist’s environment.
  2. Provides a dentist with specialized training.Only a few pediatric dental groups in your area will have a dentist who is specifically trained to work with children who have special needs. You could even ask the dentist what types of special needs children is he or she accustomed to working with.
  3. Maintains accessible office space.If your child is in a wheelchair, accessibility is most likely very important to you. Visit the office prior to your 1st appointment to ensure that your child can get around the office space without too much disruption. Check that the office has adequate thresholds, doorway widths and stability equipment to care for all your child’s needs.
  4. Gives sedation if needed. Often, a special needs dentist offers various levels of sedation to adequately care for your child during should anxiousness or proceed complexity appear to be an issue. Options range from mild sedation to general anesthesia. Discuss your needs and preferences with your dentist.
  5. Cites various experience. If the dentist and staff have worked extensively with a range of children with special needs, they may have strategies to handle common and unexpected needs. They will be more likely to have the ability to support your child. The pediatric dental group might even offer advice on oral care at home for your child with special needs.

Special Needs Dentist in Bucks County


The special needs dentist that is right for you is willing and eager to serve your family. Find someone who will meet you, who shows training and experience, and who operates in a supportive space with the sedation options your child needs. Search “kids dentist near me,” and check out the results to find the pediatric dental group that is right for you.

Why Dental Sedation Might Be Right for Your Anxious Kid

If your child is terrified of visiting the dentist, it’s important to find a solution that works for your family. Your toddler needs to see a dentist on occasion to ensure their teeth and gums are developing the way they should be and no issues are apparent. However, if you can’t get your child to cooperate at your family dentist, a pediatric sedation dentist might be just what you need.

Goals of Dental Sedation

Before you take to the internet looking for a “kids dental office near me,” you need to understand what dental sedation is all about and how to know you’ve chosen a dentist who will fit your toddler’s needs. Here are some of the things you can expect from an excellent pediatric sedation dentist.

  • Keeping your child safe throughout dental exams and procedures
  • Controlling anxiety and minimizing trauma with the best chance of post-dentist amnesia
  • Lessening any pain or discomfort associated with the dentist office
  • Controlling movements and behavior while the procedure is safely completed
  • Returning the child to a state where safe discharge with no further professional supervision is needed

Levels of Sedation

There are four different types of dental sedation for kids. The first is mild sedation, which puts the child in a state where they can respond normally to verbal commands but may have impaired coordination and cognitive function. This is often the best choice for children.

The other types of sedation include moderate, deep, and general anesthesia. Each involves progressively stronger drugs and requires more care during and after the procedure that is taking place. The medications, depending on sedation level, may be oral, intranasal, intramuscular, or intravenous.

Deciding if Sedation is Right

In the end, as a parent, you are the one who determines the final treatment offered for your child. However, you can expect that your pediatric sedation dentist will offer guidance and education to help you make the right decision. An experienced dentist will explain the risks to your toddler and explain what practices are in place to avoid bad reactions.

Choosing the Right Pediatric Sedation Dentist

When you look for a dentist for your child, be sure they are experienced in dental sedation for young children. You want a pediatric dentist office staff who are pleasant and friendly in order to avoid additional anxiety for your kid. Be sure to ask questions and listen to your gut when making this important decision. Your child will be happy that you did.

How Smart Moms Choose a Kid-Friendly Dentist

Modern moms must wear many hats. Not only do they work hard at developing children into well behaved teens, they must instill a commitment to a healthy lifestyle. Fortunately, if you start early, you can likely teach your young ones the importance of good oral health. Finding an affordable dentist for kids that stresses healthy oral habits is a good step in the right direction. To reduce your anxiety throughout the day, you need choose a kids dental office that’s fun and close to school and other errands you may have throughout the day. Here are some ways smart moms choose a kid-friendly dentist.

Ask Other Moms

Successful mothers usually aren’t shy about sharing insights and advice with other moms. If an online search for “dentist for kids near me” produces too many results, we recommend you take a deeper dive into the reviews and comments being shared for each pediatric dentist near your home. Even if you don’t ultimately decide to visit a recommended dental office, you may learn what you need to watch out for.

Look at the Décor

Before you schedule your child’s appointment, you should plan to visit the dentist’s officeyou are considering on your own just to see how inviting the environment is and how welcoming the staff is. Have a child-friendly waiting room alone is just not enough. In addition to colorful décor, the dental office should have exam rooms that are pleasant to the eye, clean floors, story books for a young mind and meet your insurance needs.

Talk to the Staff

Visiting the dentist can be unpleasant at any age. For young patients, it can be downright terrifying. Before you decide on a dental office for your kids, be sure you speak to the receptionist, assistants, dentists and other staff members. If the personnel in the office have a kind, caring demeanor, you have probably found the right childrens dentist near you.

Think About Location

Some children simply don’t travel well. If you have kids that become irritable in the car, you are setting yourself up for failure if you choose a dentist that is too far away. Even if your child doesn’t mind doing errands with you, asking him or her to devote a significant amount of time traveling to and from the dentist may be unreasonable. Try to find a provider that is near your home or your child’s school.

Don’t Forget Insurance

Finally, you can’t forget about the costs involved so looking for an affordable dentist for kids, make sure the places you consider accept the insurance plan you have. If you have a strict policy, speak with a representative of the insurance provider before scheduling your first dental visit.

Smart moms know they must encourage their children to have good oral health. To help your young ones put their best tooth forward, find a kids dental office that’s fun and welcoming. While your search may take a while, the benefits of finding the best pediatric dentist in Langhorne, Levittown area are impossible to overstate.

Kids With Special Needs Need Dental Specialists

Children with special needs must see dentists just like any other child, but not all dentists have been trained to care for patients with special needs. That’s why your child deserves to see a dentist who is specifically trained to cater to children with special needs. When you’re asking, “What’s the best children’s dentist near me?” you’ll want to go to a practitioner who understands and accommodates the issues your child faces.

It’s About More Than Dental Care

Dental services for children with special needs should be more comprehensive. When doctors, hygienists, and assistants know how to accommodate emotional, physical, cognitive, developmental, mental, or sensory impairments, it makes all the difference to you and your child. Of course, the oral treatment includes the necessary exams, cleanings, and fillings, but special needs dentists are uniquely trained to understand how certain conditions may affect treatment.

How An Appointment Differs

When you go to an appointment with a special needs dentist, you’ll notice that the dentist’s approach is different than a typical dentist. In general, there may be a slower and more gentle approach. It’s even better when the pediatric dental office isn’t busy. Some dentists will provide special needs patients with general anesthesia as a surgeon would in an operating room. This is very wrong but it does happen.

Choosing the Right Dentist

The parent should take several things into consideration when it comes to deciding on a dentist for your special needs child. It’s great if the office staff is well-trained to identify children with special needs. Choose a dentist whose receptionist will make the proper accommodations, such as making the appointment slightly longer.

Another important factor is whether the childrens dental practice has specialized equipment. For example, you may want a dentist who has a theater set up in the exam room. This way, your child will get to watch his or her favorite movies or TV shows, making the experience much more pleasant. The dentist should also provide unique advice for dental hygiene with your kids. For instance, he or she may advise you to use a toothbrush with a cartoon character on it.

You Should Feel Comfortable and Confident

Taking your child to the dentist shouldn’t be a stressful or an uncertain process. You deserve to go somewhere where you and your child feels welcomed and accommodated. The right dentistry practice will go above and beyond to ensure your child’s needs are met.

Raising a child with special needs is rewarding, but it comes with its fair share of challenges. Going to just any pediatric dentist near me shouldn’t be one met with challenges. The right one will make it an easy and fulfilling experience.

Dental Sealants Help Kids Avoid Cavities

While teaching children the proper way to brush and floss is key to encouraging a lifetime of healthy dental habits, professionals working in pediatric dentistry will likely agree there are few ways more effective at preventing cavities early in life than dental sealants. Sealants are also safe, affordable and easily applied in a relatively quick and painless procedure.

Sealing a Tooth’s Natural Fissures

When a dentist applies a sealant, he applies a thin coating over the tooth. This coating smooths natural pits and fissures, usually found on molars. Those fissures and grooves serve a purpose. They help grind food. Pits in and around those grooves can trap food, however, which can lead to tooth decay.

This begins with the buildup of plaque. Typically, young children brush poorly and incompletely. Many skip brushing altogether. When this happens, plaque develops along the teeth, especially in the gaps and spaces between teeth and near the gums. Dental sealants in kids helps eliminate this plaque buildup because of the protective film that forms is designed to minimize the buildup of plaque.

Helps Defend Against Gum Disease

Because it contains various forms of bacteria, excess plaque can lead to oral hygiene issues and signal the start of gum disease, or gingivitis. Left untreated, plaque buildup will wreak havoc on tooth enamel, a tooth’s natural protective barrier, and can lead to cavities. Too much bacteria can even lead to advanced periodontitis, which attacks both gum tissue and the bone that lies underneath.

It is easy to deal with plaque and prevent those possible outcomes. Once gum, bone and enamel is damaged, however, that damage cannot be reversed. Sealants, however, provide a way to easily prevent plaque buildup. Sealants on molars and premolars stop plaque in its tracks.

Encourage Good Dental Hygiene

Sealants can prevent many dental issues, but it should not be the only defense against oral disease. Parents should always teach young children how to take care of their teeth by properly brushing, rinsing and flossing.

When searching for a children’s dentist near me, make sure you ask if they do dental sealants. Not all pediatric dentists employ dental sealants in kids. Once you find the right dentist, ask about the dental services for children that are provided and ask if you can have the child’s molars and premolars evaluated to determine if they are good candidates for sealants.

Dental sealants are usually applied early in a child’s life, often between the ages of 5 and 7. This is when a child’s first permanent molars are expected to erupt. Secondary molars arrive between ages 11 and 14 and signify another good time to have teeth examined for sealing.

Your Child’s First Visit to the Dentist – What To Expect

Children should see a dentist for the first time before their first birthday. They may not even have all their baby teeth at this point, but it is vital for an experienced dentist to inspect your child’s oral health to ensure the teeth will be healthy when they do come in. There are certain things you need to anticipate in order to have a productive meeting and to ensure your child receives the best dental treatment. We feel each parent must have a good positive attitude about the dentist they choose for their child.

This Video Portrays One Parent’s View of Her Pediatric Dentist

What Can A Parent Expect?

You may be wondering what exactly happens at a child’s first dental appointment. For the most part, you dentist will most likely not do anything extensive to the teeth or gums. Instead, this visit is meant to acclimate the child to the dentist’s office and to get him or her used to all the various sights, smells and noises. During the oral examination, your new pediatric dentist will evaluate the tooth eruption progress and any structural or developmental red flags that may need closer examination.

You will sit next to your child as the dentist examines the gum tissue and any teeth that have come in so far. The dentist will also most likely clean the gum tissue. These initial examinations helps your child overcome any dental phobias and provide the reassurance your child needs to feel comfortable with oral exams.

How Can You Prepare Your Child for the Visit?

The best way to help your child feel more at ease is by appearing calmer yourself. If you personally have dental anxiety, it is very important that your child does not adopt those feelings so positive body language helps you communicate a positive message to your child. Children, even when they are only one year old, are very perceptive and will take note if you appear nervous or exhibit apprehension before their first dental visit.

You should also practice brushing your child’s teeth before the first appointment. Your child may be resistant at first, so try to make the experience fun. Play a song as you brush your child’s teeth. After brushing, play a fun game so that your child associates brushing with positive experiences.

What Should You Tell the Dentist?

This visit is also an opportunity for you to increase your own dental knowledge. The dentist will tell you if there are any areas of improvement concerning your child’s oral health. The pediatric dentist near you will ask you if your child still sucks his or her thumb and what kinds of food make up your child’s diet. Take all of these dental hygiene tips for kids to heart because it could vastly help your child down the line.

Find an experienced children’s dentist in Levittown who can help your child maintain healthy teeth and gums throughout his or her life. The first few years are critical to developing good oral hygiene habits. After your child’s first appointment, you should schedule the next one six months in the future.

Mission Trips to Peru Improve Healthcare Standards

Dental MissionAs a mother or father of a young child, you might be surprised to discover that many in this world are forced to live without healthcare professionals within a short distance from their homes. Sadly, the reality is that in many third world countries, there is a lack of medical and dental care, not only due to insufficient funding, but a lack of trained providers especially in rural areas. Peru, a multicultural, multilingual and multiethnic country located in the central-western part of South America is one country that struggles with providing quality dental care for kids.

The health indicators of Peru are slowly improving, but there are still many persistent problems, particularly in rural areas. Poverty and low education levels contribute to the health problems. The hospitals are full of patients who have illnesses that could be prevented through basic hygiene and healthy practices. Given that the medical facilities are underfunded and understaffed, it’s difficult to provide preventable medical care.

Intervention by Missionaries

Although many people associate missionaries with evangelical activities, this dental student, Bari Levine, at Temple University has a desire to improve the oral health of orphans in Peru. Instead of proselytizing, this student took a trip to Peru to organize a culturally sensitive dental program for children at an orphanage. On her first trip to the country, she brought in toothbrushes, toothpaste and fluoride rinse to open the door to quality dental care for the kids in Peru.

Subsequent years were spent screening and providing oral health education. Levine also had education in public health, as well as a dental degree. She not only took mission trips to Peru, but raised the money to bring other students and supplies to the country. Levine didn’t want to just start pulling teeth when she went to Peru, but to prevent kid’s fear of dentists by beginning with education and relationships.

Growing Smiles Foundation

Levine founded a 501c(3) non-profit organization called Growing Smiles Foundation. Last year, the team provided over $130,000 in dental services. The foundations partnered with a local dental school to provide follow-up care, which keeps the program sustainable. Their mission is to continue to provide quality dental care for kids in Peru, not only for health reasons, but for self-esteem and confidence.

The healthcare problems in Peru might seem overwhelming, but Levine’s efforts demonstrate that change is possible through small steps. She is tracking her efforts in hopes of creating a model that can be replicated to help orphans around the world. For Levine, dental care is an outreach that can change people’s lives. During her time at home here in the states, Bari provides dental services for children in Bucks County with the rest of the team at Growing Smiles in Floralvale.