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Special Health Care Needs

Access to superior kids dental care is crucial for all young patients—including those who benefit from special healthcare services. At Petite Smiles Boutique Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Heba Rashed sets the tone and offers high standards in dental care in Lorton, VA. Her supporting staff is trained to help patients with virtually any particular healthcare need in a comfortable, compassionate, and elevated environment.

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young girl smiling in Lorton, VA pediatric dental office after receiving dental crowns

Why Special Needs Dentistry Matters

Research suggests that oral health status is worse among children with special health care needs than the average child. Thankfully, correlation doesn’t equate to causation. Even if your child has special health care needs, they still have a fighting chance to have a healthy smile that lights up the room. Petite Smiles proudly serves children with special healthcare needs at our Lorton dental office. Our caring team is specially trained to provide proper and thorough dental treatment to all kids of all ages and varying degrees of need.

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Our Inclusive Dental Services

Healthy smiles start with better care. Proudly, Petite Smiles provides preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry options for kids of all ages as well as specialized services, such as sedation dentistry, to ensure that everyone involved has a positive experience.

Managing Medical Complexities with Dentistry

Nearly one in five children in the US have Special Health Care Needs (SHCN), and without proper dental care, these conditions can become more complex– leading to substantial dental health problems and additional costs. As a best practice, we cover all aspects of special healthcare needs, including physical impairments, cognitive issues, and other potential barriers, to ensure better overall health outcomes.
A significant component of helping children with special healthcare needs is treatment planning. Our talented children’s dentist and team collaborate with the patient and parent to tailor bespoke treatment plans centered around the young patient’s needs and ability to tolerate each treatment.

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Patient Education

Patient education is vital for everyone. Therefore, we don’t mind taking the time to break down information appropriately so that it’s “easier to digest” for patients and their parents. At your kid’s next dental appointment, we will explain the ins and outs of dental care specific to the patient. Some topics that we might include are:

  • How to properly brush teeth
  • The importance of removing plaque
  • Why it’s important to avoid sweet desserts
  • The importance of regular dental exams, cleanings, and patient education
  • Why preventive treatment is better than restorative treatment

Patient education is an essential aspect of healthcare for children with special needs because it empowers individuals to take an active role in their health and well-being. With proper patient education, children with special healthcare needs can better understand what steps they need to take to stay healthy and how specific dental treatments can positively impact them.

Behavior Guidance for Dental Visits

We utilize a variety of behavior management techniques that are individualized to your child, including (but not limited to) desensitization. The appropriate behavior management techniques used during your child’s dental visit can make all the difference in their experience. Depending on age and needs, reinforcing positive behaviors before and throughout an appointment is an excellent way for kids of any age to be well-prepared! By doing so, we can also set your children up for successful future appointments.

Aside from positive reinforcement, another technique that Dr. Rashed utilizes is desensitization. For some children, dental experiences can feel unusual and potentially uncomfortable. Desensitization aims to introduce these sensations gradually and gently to children. During this process, we invite you to visit the Petite Smiles dental office so that your child may become familiar with the space, learn what to expect through patient education, and meet the team. This will allow your child to desensitize and become comfortable before receiving treatment at our office.

Sedation Dentistry

Above all, we want to ensure our patients and their parents feel comfortable. We will gladly adapt treatments to accommodate unique needs and scenarios if necessary. If your child needs to undergo a dental procedure, sedation dentistry can help make the experience more comfortable. Depending on their needs, several options are available – Oral Conscious Sedation, IV Sedation, and even General Anesthesia. Parents can rest assured that their child will be in good hands. Before sedation, Dr. Rashed will evaluate which option is appropriate for your child’s procedure. 

 

Dentist for Children with Special Healthcare Needs in Lorton, VA

If you’re a parent, guardian, or caregiver of a child with special needs, we believe you deserve a round of applause, a pat on the back, and a moment to breathe. While your kid is relaxing in our state-of-the-art treatment rooms, please take advantage of this rare second of solitude by hanging out in our parents’ waiting area. Let your worries melt away.

Nothing matters more to us than the families we serve. Even if you think your child’s needs are too complex, Dr. Rashed and her Petite Smiles team likely don’t. We are prepared to do what it takes to make your child’s next pediatric dentistry appointment as easy as possible. For more information regarding treatment planning for your infant, child, or teen, please call (703) 546-9273 or send us a quick message online.

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