Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have all the same dental needs as any other human being, but parents of children with ASD understand how challenging it can be to get through a dental visit in a way that isn’t traumatizing to the child or the parent. Thankfully, here at Perfecting Your Smile, we staff professionals who are skilled at helping parents navigate dental visits, and we’d like to share some tips for ensuring these visits go as smoothly as possible.
Preparing for the Dental Visit
For just about anybody, knowing what’s coming can relieve some anxiety, but that is especially true for children with ASD. Easing anxiety for these children is the very first step in this process, and there are a few ways parents or guardians can go about doing that.
First and foremost, we have had some children with autism arrange a tour a few days or even weeks before their appointment. Giving the children a frame of reference for what the space looks and feels like can help them feel more comfortable in their familiarity on the day of their appointment.
Furthermore, we have many parents who believe that a visual schedule, or social story, is a great way to help children prepare for their visit. Similar to the sensory avoidance routine, this helps kids practice the steps of the process and move onto the next one only when they’re comfortable.
Sedation Dentistry Can Help
Of course, there will be some patients who will struggle with a dental appointment no matter how much preparation goes into the visit, and for these children, Dr. Pete does offer sedation dentistry for Bingham Farms families that need it.
Is Sedation Dentistry Necessary?
Some guardians find it a bit jarring to have sedation recommended, but these sedatives can help with children who a.) are very difficult to work with, and b.) are in need of urgent dental care. Sometimes, there is no choice but to sedate a child to complete the work that needs completing.
Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?
Dentists that use sedation in Bingham Farms have years of success, as sedation is an accepted standard of care. From light sedation to heavier sedation, the work is done in our well-equipped dental center by people who know what they’re doing and have years of experience helping people get the safe, comfortable dental care they want and deserve.
In other words, sedation is a perfectly safe option for nearly any patient, including those with ASD. However, if you have questions about the specific type of sedation being recommended, Dr. Pete is always happy to speak with parents and will never do anything that makes a patient or their guardian uncomfortable. The bottom line here is to help children with autism get through their dental visit as smooth as possible, and sometimes sedation is necessary.
Other times it is not. As with all things, it depends on the child, their guardian(s), and the procedure at hand. Whatever the case may be, Dr. Pete will work with all patients, regardless of whatever challenges their autism may present.