26224 North Tatum Blvd. Suite 12  | Phoenix, AZ 85050

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Help My Child's Austistic, What Assistance Can a Dentist Offer

July 7, 2022

Special Needs Dentistry for Children With Autism

Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry is committed to providing quality dental care to maintain healthy, happy smiles. We’re especially proud to offer special needs services with our young patients’ comfort and well-being in mind. If you have a child with autism, we’re happy to make any needed accommodations to provide the best possible care. 

Do Children With Autism Have Special Dental Concerns?

Just as with any child, dental problems can develop in children with autism. Autistic disorders don’t produce pronounced physical characteristics that impact a child’s oral health. However, when it comes to home oral hygiene practices, you may find your child uncooperative, increasing the risk of dental problems.

Children with autism spectrum disorders often grind their teeth, a condition known as bruxism, which can cause considerable damage to the teeth and gums. Moreover, those with severe autism may find it challenging to express pain or discomfort, often delaying treatment.

Children with autism often have sensory and behavior concerns and challenges with communication and daily living skills. Visiting a dentist can be quite an intimidating and challenging experience. So many factors to consider – the fear of strangers, new sounds, different smells, foreign tastes, bright lights, unfamiliar sensations, awkward positions, occasional discomfort, sitting for long periods, and physical touch. All that can be overwhelming for any child but may be exceptionally traumatic for a child with autism.

Providing Special Dental Services for Children With Autism

At Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we specialize in providing special needs dental services. We are trained, experienced, and fully equipped to care for children with specific needs that make receiving dental care more challenging. We understand the fear and anxiety that often come with dental visits, especially for children with autistic disorders.

Our team at Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry will work closely with you to determine the best possible options to deliver safe and stress-free care. We’re happy to make any needed accommodations to help your little one relax. From noise-canceling headphones to sunglasses, weighted blankets, turning off fluorescent lights, or favorite videos, we’ll do whatever’s needed to provide a safe and comfortable environment for your child.

Our team will always explain every step of treatment and incorporate positive reinforcement. Let us know if there are any specific rewards, such as stickers, that encourage cooperative behavior, and we’ll be happy to offer them after completing each step of an exam or treatment. Our goal is to earn your child’s trust and provide the best possible care and experience.

Sedation Dentistry Options – Helping Your Child Relax in the Dentist’s Chair

Even with accommodations, children with autism may find dental exams or treatments intimidating. Our team is happy to offer sedation dentistry options, such as nitrous oxide (laughing gas), to help your child relax while receiving the needed dental care.

If your child is highly anxious or has extreme sensory challenges, we may recommend general anesthesia to provide a safe treatment experience. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Dental Association support general anesthesia in dentistry as an accepted standard of care.

Special Needs Pediatric Dentistry Near Me in Phoenix, AZ

Contact Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry to learn more about our gentle and compassionate care for children with autism. Dr. Patel and his outstanding team look forward to working alongside you to ensure your child enjoys healthy smiles for life. Call us and schedule your appointment today!