If your child has a developmental disability, a behavioral issue, or a physical limitation, it’s important for you to find a dentist who can give dental care while accommodating your child’s unique situation. Children with special needs—like Autism, ADHD, Anxiety Disorders, Down syndrome, and Cerebral Palsy—may need extra time or support when seeing a dentist.
Finding the right dentist for your child requires balancing your child’s needs with the dentist’s experience. Dr. Merlino is familiar with many conditions and how they could affect oral health. Describe the special supports your child may need and ask whether they can be provided.
• PRE-APPOINTMENTS: Can the office offer pre-appointments? A pre-appointment would give your child a chance to meet Dr. Merlino and the staff and see the exam room and equipment. This could help your child feel more comfortable and be more cooperative during the actual dental appointment.
• ACCESSIBILITY: Are the areas inside and outside the dentist’s office accessible for your child? Dr. Merlino's office is wheelchair and handicapped accessible through the front door and into the examination room.
• EXPERIENCE: Dr. Merlino and the entire staff have cared for many children and adults with special needs and may have developed strategies that could help support your child. They will certainly be able to give you advice on oral health home care, like tips for brushing teeth.
• SPECIALIZED CLINICAL TRAINING: Pediatric Dentists are specialists in treating children and those of all ages that have special needs. Dr. Merlino has gone through extensive training to be able to offer this specialized care, and has passed along her expertise to her support staff.
• SEDATION: Some children may need general anesthesia, while others may need some mild sedation, which can be administered by our Dental Anesthesiologist. Speak with Dr. Merlino about your child’s options, and find out what treatment she recommends for your child.