Special Needs Dentistry In Carrollton, TX

What Is Special Needs Dentistry?

Special needs dentistry is the specialty of treating patients who have special needs due to physical, developmental, or mental disabilities. Special needs dentists like Dr. Nelcy Sanchez (Dr. S) typically treat special needs children, but may also treat special needs patients of any age. Using patient-first techniques, expert knowledge, and dental sedation, Dr. S. can provide special needs patients with a smooth, stress-free dental care experience. Contact us now to learn more and schedule a visit.

Girl, her mom and the dentist in the dental office

How Special Needs Dentistry Is Different: What To Expect At Your Visit

Initial consultation

Before your child’s first visit, you can both come into Kids 101 Pediatric Dentistry for a consultation with Dr. S. She’ll ask about your child’s condition, medical history, medications they're taking, and other such things. This helps Dr. S develop a treatment plan that will be safe and effective for your little one.

Adjusting your child’s visit for their comfort

We can take steps to make our office more comfortable for special needs patients. For example, we can turn down the lights or provide sunglasses for patients with sensory difficulties, take steps to manage your child’s anxiety triggers, and create a comfortable environment for your child.

Administering sedation

Sedation dentistry is usually the best option for treating special needs patients. Sedation can help your child stay calm and comfortable, or even sleep through their entire appointment. We offer a variety of different types of sedation, and Dr. S. can discuss which one might be right for your child.


Delivering the care your child needs

Once your child is sedated and comfortable, Dr. S. can deliver the dental care they need, from basic six-month checkups to fillings, crowns, and more. No matter what their situation may be, we’ll help them get the treatment they need for a healthy mouth.

Our Sedation Options For Special Needs Children 

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Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)

Laughing gas may be a good option for special needs kids who are nervous about the dentist, such as children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Laughing gas helps patients relax during their appointment, but they will remain fully conscious, aware, and responsive to commands.

Digital X-Rays

Digital x-rays are the best choice for kids, since they are very fast, provide high-resolution images, and expose children to less radiation. X-rays will typically be recommended only if your child’s dentist thinks that your kid needs them, typically every few years, or more frequently if your child is at high risk for oral disease like tooth decay or gum disease.

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy or laser dentistry involves special lasers that can be used to remove soft tissue, such as gum tissue, as well as hard tissue like tooth enamel. They’re very comfortable for the patient, reduce bleeding, and allow your child’s mouth to heal more quickly, making these tools ideal for pediatric dentistry.

Oral Conscious Sedation

Oral conscious sedation uses a pill or liquid sedative. It delivers deeper sedation, and will make your child feel drowsy or groggy. They may fall asleep during their procedure, and forget most or all of what happened during their appointment.

Silver Diamine Fluoride

Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) arrests tooth decay in baby teeth. It uses a blend of silver, ammonia, water, and fluoride that kills bacteria and prevents further decay, keeping your child’s tooth healthy until it falls out naturally. It is possible that your child's tooth may still need a filling or crown in the future, and it’s only used in baby teeth because it will permanently stain the treated area black.

IV Sedation

IV sedation uses the same drugs as oral conscious sedation, but they are delivered intravenously (through a vein). This means they take effect more quickly and have more intense effects. IV sedation is a great choice for most special needs children.

General Anesthesia

General anesthesia is usually not recommended unless your child needs significant dental surgery. It will make your child completely unconscious, so they will not feel or remember anything about their procedure. However, it is much more complex and costly compared to other types of dental sedation. Your child will need to have a machine help them breathe, and specialized expertise is necessary to sedate special needs children safely.

Night Guards

Kids of all ages can grind their teeth. Custom night guards are created to fit over your child’s teeth perfectly, and prevent direct tooth-to-tooth contact at night while they sleep. This can help reduce teeth grinding, and also prevents premature tooth wear and tear caused by grinding.

Sports Mouthguards

If your child plays any contact sports, custom-fitted mouthguards help protect their teeth from damage. We offer comfortable mouthguards that cushion and protect the teeth and gums, and help your child avoid oral injuries like cracked, broken, loose, or avulsed (knocked-out) teeth.