Dental Care for Kids with Special Needs

Posted Sep 17th, 2015 in Helpful Tips for Parents, Pediatric Dentistry

Dental Care for Kids with Special Needs

According to Statistics Canada, more than 155,000 children in Canada are living with disabilities. Understandably, parents of children with special needs often have concerns about dental care for their children.


These concerns include finding the right dentist for their children, how behaviour will be controlled, and whether the dentist and dental team will be able to cope with their children’s behaviour if it becomes a problem during treatment.

Dental and oral health may not seem like a terribly big priority when you’re caring for a child with complex, unique needs. However, there are many health, behavioural, and social issues that can arise from, or at least be compounded by, dental discomfort. These issues can sometimes make managing your child’s special needs more difficult than it needs to be.

We want parents of children who have special needs to breathe easy. We’re here to help!

Our Burnaby pediatric dentists are trained to communicate effectively with children across a wide spectrum of needs. Introducing consistent dental care into your child’s life doesn’t need to be stressful or overwhelming just because special needs are part of the equation.

How Does SmileTown Burnaby Serve Kids with Special Needs?

At SmileTown Dentistry, we recognize that each child is different. Every child, no matter what, has a different personality, and different needs when it comes to oral health care.

We approach all the children who enters our practice with patience and kindness, and always provide the best, most appropriate care available for their needs.

We’ll start by meeting with you and your child, so we can get to know you both, and discuss your concerns and questions.

Depending on the nature of your child’s needs, we can use a combination of quiet persuasion, engaging games, and calming techniques to keep him or her relaxed and happy during treatment.

Sedation Options

For kids who have emotional or physical barriers to sustained oral health care that can’t be overcome with the above approaches, there is a variety of safe anesthesia or sedation options that can be used.

Pediatric dentists receive exhaustive, comprehensive training in the proper use of nitrous oxide, general anesthesia, and oral conscious sedation medications in the context of treating children.

Nitrous Oxide

Also known as ‘laughing gas’, Nitrous Oxide is a combination of oxygen and nitrous oxide. It is used to calm patients who feel nervous or anxious about treatment, but it does not render them unconscious, or impair natural reflexes.

Oral Conscious Sedation

This type of sedation can be achieved with various medications. We’ll discuss with you beforehand the type of medication or combination of medications that will best help your child comfortably undergo dental treatment.

General Anesthesia

General Anesthesia is typically recommended for children with extreme behaviour challenges, limited comprehension, physical handicaps or a high sensitivity to pain.

No matter what the needs of your children, when it comes to oral health care, we’ll find the best, most effective way to manage and prevent challenges they face when it comes to oral health care.

The long-term benefits of regular oral health care, and of helping your child develop good dental habits at home, can’t be underestimated. A healthy smile can go a long way in improving your child’s overall quality of life.

Download the FREE SmileTown Kids' Activity Booklet.

A great resource to help get your kids ready – and excited – to visit the dentist.


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