You may not realize the full scope of special health care needs. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry defines special health care needs as “any medical management, health care intervention or use of specialized services or programs that are required to treat or prevent any physical, developmental, mental or sensory impairments or limiting conditions.” Children with special needs have unique concerns regarding their oral health and require specialized knowledge to ensure proper care.
Research shows that children with special needs might have a greater chance of suffering from dental trauma or developing oral diseases. Children with special needs, such as intellectual disabilities or physical disabilities, can be at greater risk for dental disease and trauma.
Pediatric dentists have extensive training in areas like child psychology, child behavior management, and child sedation dentistry. They know how to explain procedures to patients using developmentally-appropriate language, strategies for managing dental anxiety, and how to properly coordinate care with patients’ pediatricians and other care providers.