Local dentist specializes in dentistry for special needs patients and discusses tips for successful dentist visits
Both of my kids had difficulty with going to the dentist. It was so bad, it had me wanting to avoid it all together. My son had sensory issues that had him gagging (and ultimately scaring the staff who worried if they’d soon be wearing his breakfast), and my daughter was so terrified, she would cry at the site of the hygienist’s mask.
Finding a dentist for special needs children and adults can be difficult. The staff at Pediatric Dentistry in Rochester Hills, Michigan caters to patients with special needs.
I met with the staff at Pediatric Dentistry (the office of Dr. Tracht and Dr. Briskie) in Rochester Hills. Pediatric Dentistry is highly skilled in dealing with children of all kinds and all needs. In their eyes, every child has special needs, and they’re prepared to best assist special needs patients effectively.
Additionally, Dr. Tracht and Dr. Briskie’s office and the staff at Pediatric Dentistry caters to children with more clinical special needs, including those with autism, Down Syndrome, congenital defects, trach tubes, feeding tubes, and more. Dr. Tracht and Dr. Briskie’s office is a primary resource for autism society for referrals, as well as other disorders.
Dr. Tracht and Dr. Briskie’s office understands the importance of getting care early on so they can be proactive in preventing disease (rather than treating disease down the road), and so they can establish a dental home for the patient. At Pediatric Dentistry, the patients get to know the staff and trust them at a young age. Pediatric Dentistry supports the guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry that recommends that a child be seen between the appearance of the first tooth and age one.
When I asked them how they work with kids who have special needs, they explained that they give them the time and space to be themsleves. Dr. Tracht and Dr. Briskie’s staff also work closely with the parents to manage them successfully. Sometimes that means a parent is actively involved and sometimes it means they are an absent observer. Pediatric Dentistry encourages parents to stay calm as kids can easily notice the anxiety and it is worse on them. The staff also tells parents to be supportive and speak about the appointment minimally and in the most positive light and leave the rest to the staff at Pediatric Dentistry.
An example of talking positively to your child about a dental visit is to say, “We’re going to go get shiny teeth.” Don’t say “It’s not going to hurt” and “They won’t give you a shot.” Stick with positive talk.
The staff at Dr. Tracht and Dr. Briskie’s office is highly trained to deal with all types of children. There are many special things they do to make the appointment more comfortable depending on the need. Children are usually comforted from the moment when they walk in the door. The staff talks to them, shows them what they’re going to do before they do it… And for children who are more tactically defensive, it starts with a simple visit to the office.
Once children begin treatment, they can feel comforted by the open style treatment area that allows for kids to see other kids. There are also special care rooms for individual treatment when needed. Gameboys, headphones for music or stories on tape, “double occupancy” rooms for siblings… all demonstrate the ways Pediatric Dentistry helps make the experience successful.
Situations do arise where some children are not capable to get care they need. Dr. Tracht and Dr. Briskie’s staff can help with some mild medications that provide a conscious sedation. For more severe cases (there are few) the doctors perform at a local hospital using unconscious sedation with an anesthesiologist.
See related posts below for more info on Dr. Tracht, Dr. Briskie and the staff at Pediatric Dentistry in Rochester Hills, Michigan or our HEALTH/SPECIAL NEEDS tab for more resources for those with special needs in Oakland County and Metro Detroit, Michigan.