Special Needs Series: Intellectual Disability

phoenix dentist Intellectual Disability

If you care for a loved one with intellectual disability, you might dread the semi-annual visits to the dentist.  But it doesn’t have to be a disaster.  Together, you and the dental team here at Dental on Central can make the experience pleasant.

How to Prepare Your Loved One for a Dental Visit

Helping your loved one understand what to expect at a dental visit can help reduce any potential anxiety.  You know your loved one best, so you can feel confident in helping address any fear or uncertainty about a dental visit before you arrive.  Use these strategies.

  • Tell your loved one about going to the dentist.  Depending on their level of intellectual disability, you may be able to read books with them about going to the dentist, or even do a mock visit in your own home.
  • Talk to them about their concerns.  If you can, ask them if they have any worries about visiting the dentist.  You can even call us with any questions you don’t have answers for.  
  • Let us know your loved one’s history and current challenges.  To use an old adage, help us help you.  If there are specific challenges your loved one faces, let us know so we can do our absolute best to accommodate them.  We want to do everything we can to make the visit as pleasant as possible for both you and your loved one.

What We Do to Make a Dental Visit Less Challenging

We understand the challenges of taking a loved one with intellectual disability to the dentist, and we’ve created an environment to help them feel comfortable so we can give them the best dental treatment.  Here’s what we do.

  • From the minute you walk in the door, you’ll receive a friendly greeting from our receptionist to help both you and your loved one feel at ease.
  • We reduce distractions in the exam room, since this can help our many patients with intellectual disability who have shorter attention spans.
  • Our excellent dentists will speak directly to your loved one and actively listen to them to establish a trusting rapport.  
  • We’ll use simple, direct language to communicate instructions.
  • On return visits, we’ll try to use the same staff and room each time to provide the comfort of consistency.

If deemed appropriate, we also offer Sedation Dentistry at Dental on Central, which can be an excellent way to help get your loved one the best dental care by eliminating fear and any potential pain.

Dentistry for the Entire Family at Dental on Central

Our expert dental team at Dental on Central is committed to helping you and your loved ones achieve the best dental hygiene, and we’d love to have you join our family.  For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit us on the web or call 602.266.1776.