Special Needs Dental Care

We provide specialized dental care services for patients living with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Down’s Syndrome and other physical, developmental, sensory, behavioural, cognitive, or emotional impairments.

Our primary focus is managing stress and gaining our patient’s trust. Our team has experience and training in caring for patients with special needs, and we have adapted our office environment to be a sensory friendly safe-space.

The First Appointment

We try to keep the first appointment short and positive. Our main goal for the first appointment is communication. We’ll review the patient’s needs, discuss any accommodations that are needed, and develop a treatment plan. We can also help caregivers with tips on how to prepare for appointments and provide after-treatment care.

Auditory Impairments

For patients with auditory impairments or auditory processing disorder we minimize background and environmental noise. We ensure that the patient is able to hear and understand what we are saying.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Familiarity is key for patients living with ASD. To make patients comfortable the team members, examination room, and dental setup will be the same for every appointment.

We try to make appointments short and positive, and we use rewards and reinforcements when and where they are needed. Morning appointments are usually best. Patients are rested and they have the rest of the day to relax and calm down from the appointment.

We’ll review the patient’s medical history to determine the level of support required and any triggers. Using this information, we’ll adapt our treatment and avoid or minimize triggers and other stressors. During treatment, our team wear headlamps instead of using a bright overhead light, and we ensure that instruments are kept out of site. We’ll monitor background noise in the office and we provide a quiet room if it’s needed. Calming background music is available.

We use the “tell-show-do” method during treatment. Before we start a procedure, we’ll explain it step-by-step and encourage the patient to ask questions. During the procedure, we’ll continue to explain what we are doing, and we may use a mirror so the patient can watch if they desire.

Some patients benefit from a desensitizing introductory appointment to help them become comfortable with our office. This appointment can include a tour of the dental office, letting the patient look at the equipment and instruments we may use during their treatment, and a short oral examination.

Cerebral Palsy

For patients with cerebral palsy we provide head and neck supports while they are in the chair. If the patient requires treatment in their wheel chair, we can provide a backboard or head/neck pillows for support.

Our team members will watch for patterns in the patient’s movements and try to blend their own movements around them.

Down’s Syndrome

We use the “tell-show-do” method during treatment. Before we start a procedure, we’ll explain it step-by-step and encourage the patient to ask questions. During the procedure, we’ll continue to explain what we are doing, and we may use a mirror so the patient can watch if they desire.

Some patients benefit from a desensitizing introductory appointment to help them become comfortable with our office. This appointment can include a tour of the dental office, letting the patient look at the equipment and instruments we may use during their treatment, and a short oral examination.

We try to make appointments short and positive, and we use rewards and reinforcements when and where they are needed. Morning appointments are usually best. Patients are rested and they have the rest of the day to relax and calm down from the appointment.

To learn more about our special needs dentistry, or to book an introductory appointment, contact us today.

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