Parenting an autistic child presents a number of challenges, so it's always important to ensure that any environment to which you expose your child is a healthy one. If you're looking for a pediatric dentist for your child, you should plan to not only browse several local clinics' websites, but to also visit them in person. A dental check-up has the potential to be stressful for your child, and you know all too well how he or she might react in stressful situations. Here are some particular points to assess before you choose the pediatric dentist who will care for your autistic child's mouth.
A Calm Environment
Autistic children often struggle in environments that are too stimulating, and some dental clinics can definitely fit this description. You want to choose a clinic that has at least one examination room that offers a calm environment. This should be one with a door that closes and offers a reduction in sound from the other rooms, which may be noisy from people talking and from the use of dental instruments. It's ideal if this space is also finished in muted colors, as some autistic children can get overwhelmed by busy-looking environments.
A Patient Demeanor
While you'll find that pediatric dentists generally have a patient approach to dealing with children — given that some children can be anxious about going to the dentist — some are more patient than others. Don't be afraid to speak to the dentist about your unique situation so that you can assess his demeanor. You can also talk to some parents in the waiting room about how they feel about the dentist. It's also ideal if you can find a dentist who has experience with treating autistic children. Beyond your own research, a local autism support group or fellow parents of autistic children may have recommendations.
Availability Of Sedation
Ideally, your autistic child will be able to have dental appointments with a moderate degree of ease, but this may not always be the case. If your child is having a bad day during the day of a check-up, he or she may not be cooperative. It's therefore ideal if you can find a dentist who can offer sedation dentistry. Full or partial sedation may be necessary for the dentist to treat your child's teeth so that the experience isn't unnecessarily difficult on everyone involved.
For more information, talk to a pediatric dental clinic in your area.Share