Special Needs Dentistry for Children: What to Expect

It can be a challenge for children with special needs to get the dental care they need. But it doesn’t have to be. When you find a dentist who has the necessary training and experience in special needs dentistry, your child’s dental health can be easily maintained without any stress or anxiety. Here’s what you should expect from a pediatric dentist who provides care for children with special needs. 


A dental practice that offers special needs dentistry should exhibit compassion for their patients and an understanding of their individual needs. Children with special needs are different from the other patients and may require some extra kindness and a gentle touch. The doctors and dental team should all have a warm and caring demeanor that will help put patients at ease. 


Children with special needs require an extreme amount of patience. Dental professionals that are trained and have experience working with special needs children will understand that extra time may be required for routine dental visits as well as procedures. Appointments should be scheduled accordingly to allow ample time to ensure that the patient does not feel rushed or pressured. 


Children with special needs thrive on consistency. They need to see the same faces and the same environment. Some patients may even need to sit in the same chair or in the same room for every visit. A dental practice with experience working with children with special needs will understand this and make notes in the patient’s chart to ensure that the necessary preparations are made before the appointment for a smooth visit. 

Kid-Friendly Environment 

A pediatric dental practice should always have a kid-friendly environment, but this is even more important for a child with special needs. TVs and video games help to keep kids occupied and take their mind off of the dental treatment they are receiving. It can help children stay still in the dental chair, which makes it easier for the dental team to provide treatment.  

Accessible Facilities 

Children with physical disabilities will need accessible facilities for wheelchairs and other forms of mobility. This includes accessible waiting rooms, bathrooms, and procedure rooms. Some patients may need to receive dental care in their own wheelchair, so the necessary accommodations need to be available. 

Sedation Options 

In some cases it is in the best interest of the patient that sedation be used to help them relax enough to receive dental care. Expect a special needs pediatric dentist to provide various forms of sedation for procedures and even routine dental cleanings if necessary. Sedation can take the stress out of the situation for both the patient and their parents. It can also make dental procedures safer and more efficient. 

Finding a Special Needs Dentist for Your Child 

It can be a challenge to find a pediatric dentist in your area who is qualified to treat children with special needs. Take the time to ask questions and ensure that any dentist you are considering is properly trained and has experience in special needs dentistry, as well as the dental team and support staff. Set up a meet and greet before you attempt any actual dental treatment so that you and your child can get acquainted with the dentist and any other dental professionals who will be providing care. The ultimate goal is for your child to get the dental care they need in a relaxing environment. 

Kids and Teens Dental Place provides comprehensive dental care, including special needs dentistry, for children and teens in Houston and Pearland, Texas. To learn more, contact us today and schedule an appointment at one of our two convenient locations.