Special Needs Dentistry
In Modesto

what is special needs dentistry?

Dentistry is important for everyone. Special needs dentistry focuses on providing expert dental care to patients who are faced with physical, mental, and behavioral health challenges. This includes a wide variety of disabilities and conditions, including muscular dystrophy, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), Down Syndrome, and much more.

Children and adults with special needs require expert care to ensure they get the treatment they need in a safe, comfortable environment. And at our Modesto pediatric dental office, Dr. Chris Ha is here to help. We serve special needs patients of all ages throughout Modesto. Get more details below, or contact us now to schedule an appointment.

Doc putting fluoride on patient

Did you know…

Special needs children and adults have a higher risk of oral health problems like gum disease and tooth decay. Proper at-home oral hygiene and in-office care from a special needs dentist are the best way to prevent these common oral health issues.

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What to expect at our child’s sedation consultation?

find the right dentist

To keep your child’s teeth healthy, it’s important to find a pediatric dentist who will provide expert care in a comfortable environment, such as Dr. Ha. We highly recommend seeing a dentist who specializes in special needs patients.

Establish a dental home early

Having a “dental home” for your child is essential for their oral health. Your dentist will become more familiar with your child and their unique needs and health challenges. You’ll be able to build a real relationship with your dentist, and this will lead to better patient outcomes.

Maintain a good at-home oral hygiene

Caring for your child’s teeth can be a challenge. Dentists can provide advice and help you maintain good at-home oral hygiene. For example, children with autism or sensory processing disorders may not like the sensation of having their teeth brushed. Special needs dentists can provide you with tips to help you overcome these challenges.

More about special needs dentistry

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what parents should know

At First Smiles Children’s Dentistry, we pride ourselves on providing every child with the best possible dental care. Before your child’s first appointment, we will schedule a consultation where you can discuss their needs with Dr. Chris Ha, as well as their medical history, health challenges, and all other relevant information.
This allows us to create a truly personalized treatment plan for your little one, including recommendations for dental sedation. With our expertise, you can trust our team to provide your child with the care and attention they deserve.

why your special needs child should see a Children's dentist

Unlike family dentists and general dentists, children's dentist are specialists in treating oral health issues in kids. They go through years of additional schooling and testing to be certified as pediatric dentists.

This means that pediatric dentists have a deeper understanding of common oral health issues in kids, and can provide superior care compared to family dentists. This is particularly true of special needs children, who often have other health issues that complicate their care. As a children's dentist, Dr. Ha has the knowledge, skills, and patient-focused attitude that your child needs to get the best possible care in Modesto.

kid at the dentist

Did you know…

Sedation options keep restless children calm while receiving dental treatment.

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Have questions about sedation options for your child? Find answers here.

Why is sedation used in dentistry?

Sedation is most often used to treat dental anxiety and keep children at ease during their treatment. Fear of the dentist is very common, and sedation can keep your child calm during their appointments. 

Additionally, sedation helps with pain and discomfort during more invasive procedures, such as tooth extractions. It also helps young patients feel more comfortable if they need to sit still for longer treatment times.

Is sedation dentistry right for my child?

As long as your child is healthy and is not taking any medications that may interfere with the sedation, your child should be a good candidate for sedation dentistry. Contact us to learn more about sedation options for your child. We can discuss any concerns you may have during a consultation.

What does sedation dentistry feel like for my child?

This depends on the method of sedation. With laughing gas, your child will feel light-headed, giggly, and relaxed, but will be fully conscious and aware of their surroundings. They will also feel less discomfort during treatment.

Oral conscious sedation and IV sedation will usually make patients feel groggy or sleepy. Your child will likely fall asleep, and probably won’t remember much about the procedure. However, they will not be unconscious, and can still be woken and respond to commands.

General anesthesia is the deepest level of sedation. Your child will be completely unconscious and will not feel anything or remember anything from the procedure.

Is sedation dentistry safe for toddlers?

When done correctly, sedation dentistry for children, even toddlers, is completely safe. Several precautions are taken to ensure a seamless experience. First, we’ll take a detailed health history to make sure we recommend the right sedation option. We’ll then discuss options with the parent or guardian so that you understand the effects and are prepared to care for your child after their procedure. All methods of sedation dentistry are provided by professional and skilled team members, so you rest assured that your child's well-being is of the utmost importance.

Did you know…

16% of school age children have a fear of the dentist.

Is your child ready for their dental appointment?