You know you’ve been needing to take your child to the dentist for a while now, but have you been hesitant to start the process? Many parents understand the feeling, but for those who have a child on the autistic spectrum, the task can seem especially daunting. In fact, for parents who are looking for a dentist for an autistic child in Las Vegas, the task may feel impossible!
Many adults find a trip to the dentist intimidating, so how much more difficult must it be for a child with ASD? With so much on the line, it’s important to make an informed choice. But, how exactly does someone go about finding an autism-friendly dentist? We’ve put together a few tips to help you make you choose a dentist for your autistic child in Las Vegas.
1. Choose a Pediatric Dentist
Although a regular dentist can help a patient of any age, parents with children on the spectrum would do well to choose a pediatric dentist for an autistic child in Las Vegas. There are several reasons for this:
- A pediatric dentist office will be better equipped to help your child cope with the stress of the visit. From the moment they walk into the waiting room, the experience will be better suited to their needs than a general dentist office will be.
- A pediatric dentist will have the proper training to help your child. A pediatric dentist has completed an extra two to three years of study after they graduated from dental school. This specialization will allow them to set your child at ease in a way that a regular dentist cannot.
- A pediatric dentist will have more “kid-friendly” equipment than a regular dentist will. These tools usually make less noise and are less intimidating for children, especially those with ASD. These specialized tools will help reduce any sensory issues that could potentially arise.
Without a doubt, a pediatric dentist is your best bet in finding an autism-friendly dentist!
2.Get Help From the Community
As a parent of a child with special needs, you have many different resources at your fingertips. When looking for a dentist for an autistic child in Las Vegas, it’s important to remember that you’re not the first parent in the area who has had the same questions. There are many valuable resources available to help you on your quest.
- Social workers: There social workers are available at some local doctors, hospitals or through the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services. It’s very likely that you’ve already been in contact with a social worker for your child. Ask them if they have any references or lists for autism-friendly dentists.
- Local autism parent support groups: A quick hunt through a search engine or social media will likely help you find local support groups. Whether they meet in person or simply converse online, solicit help from the group in identifying a dentist for your autistic child in Las Vegas.
- SPED coordinator: If your child attends a public school, get in touch with the school’s Special Education coordinator and see if they have any recommendations gleaned from the experience of other parents.
- BCBA or other therapists: If your child undergoes Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy, consider asking their Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) for suggestions. Physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, or any other specialist your child has regular contact with may also have some names for you to follow up with.
Just remember: you don’t have to go it alone! Allow others to assist you in your search for a dentist for an autistic child in Las Vegas.
You’ve limited the pool to pediatric dentists, then narrowed it down further by asking for recommendations from people that you trust. Now, it’s time to talk directly to the offices of your final autism-friendly dentist candidates. Call each office and ask several questions, including:
- “What is your experience in helping children with autism?”
- “Can I accompany my child while they are being seen by the dentist?”
- “What procedures do you have to help set children with autism at ease?”
- “Do you offer sedation for children?”
- “Can we tour the office before the first appointment?”
Don’t feel like you’re wasting a receptionist’s time by asking these important questions. Any office with a dentist for autistic children in Las Vegas will be willing and happy to address all of your concerns.
4.Tour the Office
Once you’ve settled on your top choice, stop by the office before your child’s first visit. Asking to take a tour of the facility just before they close for the day may be the best way for your child to explore without any pressure. Just make sure you call ahead before you arrive so that the office can anticipate your arrival and help answer any lingering questions you may have.
Take time to let your child explore the waiting room and let them play for a few minutes. If possible, take a brief tour of the office, even sitting them in a chair if possible. The more familiar your child is with the new office, the better their initial visit will be. Also, you may be able to identify some potential sensory triggers during your tour so you can avoid them when you make your first official visit.
Children’s Dentistry Wants to Help
Children’s Dentistry prides ourselves in being the best dentist for autistic children in Las Vegas. Each of our ten locations around the Las Vegas metro area is kid friendly and welcoming to children with special needs.
If you’re thinking about choosing Children’s Dentistry for your child, consider registering for our Special Needs Scholarship program. This $1,000 scholarship is available for families looking for a dentist for an autistic child in Las Vegas. Reach out to our office today via our online contact form so we can help you with the particulars of this program.