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FAQ:  Special Needs Dentistry

I have a brother with Down Syndrome. He is 34 years old and hates the dentist. He has had bad experiences in the past with a dentist. He has become violent in the past. He does not like needles or sharp objects. Could Sedation be a solution for him? ...Karen

Karen, you are a wonderful sister. Treating patients with special needs is a real challenge for the patient and the dentist.

There are lots of answers available to you. First thing is to see if there is a dental school near you. If so, that is where I would start. Next, Pedodontists, (children dentists) work with very fearful patients and have methods that work for fearful adults.

Sedation, or sleep dentistry is available, and your brother would be well with that. But I have another thought that may work very well. New dentists in an area have time to spend with the fearful patient and build a relationship that is based on trust and love. Your brother will respond to that and he may get over his fear and come to understand that he can manage.

Are there support groups for families that have special needs? They also have many resources that will help you. You will have to work at the searching but you will get there and remember someone far away thinks you are doing a great thing.

Editorial Staff

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