Dental Care for Autistic Patients: Addressing Special Needs By Bruce Wilderman on March 15, 2015

A woman smiling touches her cheekHere at Artistic Expressions Dentistry, we've established a strong reputation for excellence in the greater Philadelphia area. This is built on a foundation of comprehensive general dentistry services that emphasize total wellness. This can be easier said than done for some patients, however, particularly if they are young and suffer from autism. This is a serious issue for many patients these days, so we'd like to address it right now.

The Challenges of Treating Young Patients with Autism

When young patients who have autism visit the dentist, they often experience a number of problems with regard to staying still and remaining calm. This is to be expected given all of the sensory stimulation at a dentist's office: the lights, the sounds of brushes, the feel of being in the dentist's chair. Simple actions by a dentist that involve placing instruments in the mouth can also cause a patient to become restless or alarmed.

Given the chances of an autistic patient moving erratically or reacting in sudden and unpredictable ways, there's a chance that the patient might hurt himself or herself. The sad part is that it's not their fault given their condition. Some parents, knowing these are major issues, avoid bringing their autistic child to the dentist.

Not All Dentists Are Able to Meet the Needs of Autistic Patients

Even though regular dental visits are crucial for these autistic patients, not all dentists are trained to address the challenges that come with these patients. It takes a special understanding about the nature of autism with regard to stimuli and behaviors, and the right kind of attitude and demeanor when it comes to helping patients feel welcome, relaxed, and trusting.

Dr. Bruce Wilderman Has the Patience, Empathy, and Experience Necessary

Thankfully, Dr. Wilderman has the knowledge and experience necessary to treat patients who are autistic. This can be done without the use of anesthetics or sedation dentistry, which should only be used as a last resort if even at all.

Instead, Dr. Wilderman will use various interpersonal communication techniques to help patients relax. Hygienists will similarly react in a calm manner, helping keep patients still and making sure that the patient is as relaxed as possible throughout the process. A positive attitude will be crucial for success, and we will always make sure patients are as comfortable as possible.

A Welcoming Environment Helps Establish Trust

Establishing trust and calmness begins even before the dental exam takes place. When patients come to our practice, they will feel relaxed and at ease. We always strive to be welcoming so that patients know we are here to help and that everything is going to be okay. Trust is established from the beginning.

Building a Relationship That's Meaningful for Patients and the Team

By making an autistic patient's first visit a a positive and supportive one, future visits will tend to be easier and less tense situations. We always want to make positivity the main goal of each dental visit for all patients, obviously, but it is enriching to us when we are able to help patients with special needs feel great about themselves and have beautiful and healthy smiles.

Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Bruce Wilderman

For more information about addressing dental care concerns of patients with unique needs, we encourage you to contact a skilled cosmetic and restorative dentist today. Dr. Bruce Wilderman and his entire team looks forward to your visit and helping you achieve the best dental health possible.

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Artistic Expressions Dentistry

Dr. Bruce Wilderman has been providing comprehensive cosmetic dentistry services since 1986. By combining a true sense of artistry with state-of-the-art technology, he can provide stunning results. At Artistic Expressions Dentistry, we are proud to be affiliated with:

  • The American Dental Association
  • The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry

For more information about our services, contact our practice online or call (215) 340-1199 today.

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