Children with Special Needs

Providing comprehensive preventive and therapeutic dental care to patients who have special healthcare needs is an important aspect of the specialty of dentistry. We value the unique qualities of each young smile we treat, and seek to ensure maximal health for all, regardless of developmental disability or other healthcare issues.

Dental care for patients with special needs requires specialized knowledge acquired by additional training, as well as increased awareness and attention, adaptation, and accommodative measures beyond routine treatment. At our office, we have the experience necessary to provide suitable dental care while keeping in mind the unique nature of the children we see.

It is our goal to create a dental home for your child, where treatment can be delivered safely, and ideal dental health can be achieved.

The following oral conditions can occur in children with special needs:

  • Teeth grinding (bruxism) affects children with cerebral palsy and other severe or profound levels of intellectual disability. Severe tooth wear from grinding can result in teeth being worn flat or tooth abrasion – which can lead to tooth loss.
  • Dental trauma (injury) is most common in children who experience seizures, uncontrolled protective reflexes or poor muscle coordination.
  • Dental/oral anomalies are abnormal variations in the development of teeth that are linked to inherited defects or spontaneous genetic mutations. Tooth anomalies include malformed, missing or extra teeth. They can affect children with ectodermal dysplasia (a genetic disorder that affects teeth, hair, nails and sweat glands), Down syndrome or cleft lip and/or palate.
  • Early onset periodontal disease may be experienced by children with immune response and connective tissue disorders.
  • Early, late, stagnant or erratic tooth eruption may happen to children with growth disturbances in their tooth formation and development.
  • Malocclusion (misalignment of upper teeth with lower teeth) and teeth crowding create problems for oral health care because affected teeth and their interdental spaces are harder to clean. Children with developmental disorders, craniofacial anomalies, and muscular dystrophy and intellectual disabilities may be affected.