It can be difficult to find a dentist who is experienced in treating children with special needs. Special equipment or training may be required, depending on your child's needs. Then there's the disposition of the dentist: will they be patient and understanding? Or will they be a source of anxiety for your child? We know the process of finding a new care provider for your child is stressful, so below, we explain how to find the best special needs dentist near you in Brooklyn.
Look for a Pediatric Dentist
Pediatric dentistry is a service offered by the majority of general dentists, but this doesn’t mean they are pediatric dentists. A pediatric dentist is a specialist who has completed two to three years of additional training and education after graduating from dental school. Treatment of patients with special needs is included in this training and education. You can rest assured that your child will receive the best possible care when you choose a pediatric dentist.
After graduating from dental school with an honor in Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Liza Idelchik completed her residency at Columbia Medical Center/New York Presbyterian Hospital where she gained additional training and experience treating medically complex children and children with special needs in collaboration with Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital.
Find a Dentist That Provides No-Drill Cavity Treatment
Many children with special needs have trouble tolerating restorative dental work, particularly the drilling needed to treat a cavity. The sound and sensation might be overwhelming, but failing to treat cavities can result in pain and jeopardize your child's dental health.
For many patients, Silver Diamine Fluoride (SFF) is an excellent alternative to traditional dental fillings because it allows us to stop the progression of a cavity. While SDF isn't suitable for all cases (a cavity must be in its early stages for it to work), it does mean that many of our young patients do not need to have their teeth drilled and filled, making cavity treatment much more comfortable for them.
Ask About Sedation Dentistry
Some patients with special needs benefit from pediatric dental sedation, which allows them to get dental care without stress or trauma. We understand that as a parent, you may be concerned about the safety of sedation dentistry; rest assured, we only use nitrous oxide, sometimes known as laughing gas, at our Brooklyn practice for pediatric patients.
Laughing gas is a low-risk, highly effective form of sedation that will help your child feel at ease with few risks or side effects. When side effects do occur, they are usually limited to lightheadedness, dizziness, and nausea.
A small mask is placed over your child's nose so they can breathe in the laughing gas. It takes effect immediately and wears off quickly as well, so if your child doesn't like how it makes them feel, we can take the mask off and they'll be back to normal in seconds. However, most children tolerate nitrous oxide well, allowing them to feel calm and relaxed throughout their dental procedures.
Choose a Dentist Who Works Closely With You
The best way to ensure a successful appointment is for us to work with you and any other care professionals that you’d like to involve, including doctors, therapists, aides, or teachers. Before your child's appointment, we'll want to know about any accommodations we should make, how they've handled past appointments, and what your expectations are.