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The Dental Care For Special Needs


It is not a secret that dental care for special needs patients can be challenging. Unlike ordinary individuals, people with special needs require special considerations because of their unique conditions. They may have medical, physical, developmental, or cognitive issues. However, everyone still needs to take care of their oral health, including patients with special needs. Suppose you are looking for experienced dentists trained to care for patients with special needs. In that case, you can visit dental professionals from ADC Dubbo.

Special Care Dentistry

Special care dentistry is that specialty of dentistry that aims to provide dental care for special needs patients. Hence, this is concerned with improving the oral health of people and groups in society who have physical, mental, intellectual, emotional, or social disabilities or impairments. Also, more often, it can be a combination of some of these variables.Dental care for special needs patients is important.

The patients in special care dentistry are a diverse group with a scope of disabilities and complex additional needs. This incorporates individuals living at home, in long-stay private consideration and secure units, and homeless individuals.

Caring for special needs patients requires understanding and compassion. Though most dentists can offer dental services for patients with special needs, some dentists focus on addressing the requirements and working with the limits of these patients. So in case you, your kid, or somebody you know has unique needs, speak to your dentist to examine your choices.

Dental Care for Special Needs Patients

Developmental disabilities like cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism, and other cognitive incapacities make difficulties in achieving daily activities, particularly self-care routines. Individuals with these issues may require additional assistance to accomplish and maintain good health, incorporating oral well-being. To complete and keep up oral health, individuals with moderate or minor developmental disabilities regularly need a unique approach to dental care.

To further understand the condition of special needs patients, look at the different health challenges they may face.

Behavioral Problems

Behavior issues can complicate dental health services. For instance, anxiety brought about by developmental disabilities may make the patient uncooperative.

Mental Ability

Mental capacities will fluctuate from one individual to another. They may affect how well somebody can follow directions in a dental office and at home.

Neuromuscular Complications 

Neuromuscular issues can influence the mouth. Some individuals with impairments have persistently inflexible or loose biting muscles, or have gagging, drooling, and swallowing difficulties that complicate dental care for special needs patients.

Mobility Issues

Mobility issues may require an individual to use a walker or wheelchair to move around. Admittance to the dental services may necessitate special preparations and help with the patient transfer. A longer arrangement period might be necessary.

Cardiac Complications

Cardiac disorders, especially heart valve damage and mitral valve prolapse, are usual in patients with developmental disabilities, for example, Down syndrome. Turn to a cardiologist to know the need for pre-treatment antibiotics.

Oral Health Problems

Typical oral health problems for special needs patients include:

Gum Disease: Gum disease happens more frequently at a younger age in individuals with developmental disabilities. In addition, trouble doing proper dental hygiene practices such as flossing and brushing might be an obstacle to effective treatment and results.

Malocclusion: Malocclusion happens in numerous special needs patients, particularly those with developmental disabilities. Also, this condition can make speaking and eating difficult and increment the danger of gum disease, tooth decay, and dental injury.

Oral Defects: Oral deformities may result in high lip lines with dry gums, enamel defects, and variations in the size, shape, and number of teeth.

Damaging Oral Habits: For example, awful dental habits, jaw clenching, teeth grinding, mouth breathing, food pouching, and tongue thrusting can be an issue for special needs patients.

Delayed Tooth Development: Delayed tooth emission may happen in children with developmental disabilities, particularly those with Down Syndrome. Kids may not get their first child tooth until they are two years old.

Gastroesophageal Reflux:At times, this condition influences individuals with central nervous system disorders, for example, cerebral palsy. In addition, teeth might be sensitive or show indications of disintegration.

Other Complications

  • Seizures go with numerous developmental incapacities. For example, patients may bite the tongue or cheeks or chip teeth during a seizure.
  • Latex hypersensitivities might be more probable in individuals with developmental disabilities.
  • Visual impairments and hearing loss may likewise be available in special needs patients.
  • Uncontrolled body developments can endanger the safety and the capacity to deliver dental care.
  • Tooth decay and cavities are common in individuals with developmental disabilities.
  • Injury and trauma to the mouth from accidents or falls may happen in individuals with cerebral palsy or seizure disorders.

Tips for Parents or Caregivers

The patient with special needs gets dental treatment.Taking care of someone with special needs requires patience and skill. For a caregiver, you know this just as anybody does. You additionally realize that it is so difficult to assist that individual with dental health care. It takes arranging, time, and the capacity to oversee physical, mental, and behavioral problems. Dental care is not always straightforward. However, you can make it work for you and the individual you help.

Brush Every Day

Sometimes, a helper may need to be the one to do dental hygiene practice for some patients with special needs. Also, others may just need to modify the toothbrush to accommodate physical limitations to permit them to keep brushing their own teeth.

Floss Regularly

Daily flossing is a part of regular dental hygiene practice. Some patients with special needs may discover flossing as a real challenge. However, they may still have to do the flossing or acquire help, such as floss holders or floss picks.

Regular Dental Appointment

Professional dental cleanings play a vital role in maintaining good oral health. However, it might require time for the individual you care for to get familiar with the dental facility. A comfortable visit with no dental procedure furnished may help familiarize them with the clinic and the test routine before an actual appointment.


Providing dental care for special needs patients needs adaptation of the abilities you apply daily. Most individuals with moderate or mild disabilities can be treated effectively in the overall work-on setting.

In short, dental professionals need to know about the particular challenges that the patient may have. In addition, learning proper abilities and procedures to meet the exceptional oral health needs of individuals with special needs will help you effectively convey dental care to these patients.

If you need professional dental care, you can visit Dr. Matthew Casey’s clinic in Townsville today.

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