Alameda County Dental Providers: Tips & Providers
Children with disabilities need good oral health to be healthy. An infection in the mouth can cause pain, difficulty speaking chewing and swallowing and is associated with serious health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. Finding a dental clinic that is willing to see a child with disabilities can be difficult for parents. It also can be hard to find a dental team that knows how to work with children with disabilities.
Tips for Families seeking dental care for their child with special needs:
- Talk with other parents. Parents of children with disabilities have experience and information that can help other parents. They can share information on how to choose a dentist. They may also be able to share the name of a dental clinic that successfully treated their child.
- When calling a dental office clearly describe the child’s oral health needs. Parents can tell the receptionist that the child needs a cleaning and a check-up, or that the child has a toothache.
- Share information about the child. Any dental clinic forms should be filled out prior to the child’s visit. It is important to answer all questions on the form, including questions about the child’s health history. The answers help the dental team get to know the child and be ready to meet the child’s needs. If the dental team does not ask parents to complete a form before the first dental visit, parents should ask for one.
- Get-to-know you appointment. Ask if the child can have an appointment just to meet the dental team and not receive care.
- Be honest about the child’s oral health experiences. If the child has had difficult dental visits in the past, hearing about that from parents will help the dental team prepare for the child’s visit. It will also give parents and the dental team a chance to discuss what will happen during the visit.
- Share information about the best ways to work with their child. Parents know their child best. For example, the parent may say, “My child has autism and will cooperate if you go slowly.”
- Ask to be in the room while the child receives care. Parents can make suggestions or show the dental team ways to manage and comfort the child, if needed.
Dentists in Alameda County that are special needs friendly:
Following are a list of dentists in Alameda County that accept Denti-cal insurance and new patients. They have been surveyed to find out which ones treat children with special needs and whether the office has wheelchair access, as well as what languages are spoken. Click on the image below to find a dentist near you.