Dental Care for Special Needs Patients

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Monday 8:00 am–5:00 pm
Tuesday 9:00 am–6:00 pm
Wednesday 8:00 am–5:00 pm
Thursday 7:00 am–4:00 pm
Friday 7:00 am–1:00 pm

Mother and Down Syndrome daughter hugging and smilingAt Hada Family Dental, our goal is to provide quality dental care for every patient who comes through our door. This includes children, adults, and senior citizens. It also includes special needs patients.

Special needs patients can include anyone from seniors who suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease to patients in wheelchairs, from those who have problems being still, to those with mental disabilities. Dr. Richard Hada has years of experience working with patients who have special needs, and will provide excellent care for your loved one.

To learn more about how Dr. Hada provides care for special needs patients, or to schedule an appointment, call our Mission Viejo, CA, dental office today at (949) 951-1067.

Caring for Children with Special Needs

Children with special needs require the same dental care as other children. In some cases they may require even more intense care. Dr. Hada wants these children to feel as comfortable as possible with their surroundings. He and the staff take extra time with them to ensure this happens.

The doctor has a specific protocol for working with children who suffer from several types disabilities. A few examples of these include:


Children with autism can present a special challenge. They often appear detached from their surroundings, and may present special behavioral challenges. Children with autism often have a harder time communicating than other children. They may not know how to tell the doctor if they have dental pain.

The doctor will suggest scheduling an autistic patient during slower business hours, to avoid overwhelming the child with stimulation. These appointments may take longer than normal visits. Dr. Hada will take the time to familiarize the child with the office and staff before bringing him to the exam area. He will allow the child to sit in the dental chair to become familiar with his surroundings.

Before examining the child, the doctor will consult with his parent or caregiver to determine the depth of the child’s communication understanding. This will help him communicate better with the child. Dr. Hada believes that the best way to comfort any child is to first explain the procedure he will perform. He then shows the child the instruments he will use and how he will use them before attempting the treatment.

The doctor typically begins the exam using just his fingers, rather than sticking an unfamiliar instrument in the child’s mouth. If he determines that he needs additional examination, he will use a toothbrush, which the child should have familiarity with, to gain access to the mouth.

These actions all serve to help relax the child, and the doctor can typically provide thorough dental care to most autistic children with little incident. The doctor does realize, however, that some children may present severe behavioral problems. They may not sit still in the chair long enough for him to accomplish anything. In these cases, the doctor will do everything possible to calm the patient. This may include having the parent in the room to hold his hand, or in severe cases using sedatives or medical immobilization devices.

Down Syndrome

Children with Down Syndrome tend to be warm and usually do not present any behavioral issues. The doctor will consult with the child’s parents and physicians to determine the child’s ability to comprehend and function as needed. As with autistic children, the doctor will typically set aside an appointment at a time of the day when the office tends to have fewer patients, so the child can feel comfortable in his surroundings.

The doctor will take the time to listen carefully to what the patient has to say, and will explain the procedure in a manner that the child can understand. Dr. Hada realizes that Down Syndrome can sometimes cause problems with short term memory, and takes the time to repeat his instructions to the patient often to compensate for this.

Adults with Special Needs

Older patients may have special needs as well. Dr. Hada sees patients who suffer from Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s disease. With the same special attention he provides to special needs children, Dr. Hada offers excellent dental care for these patients.

The doctor will consult with physicians and caregivers to determine the needs of the patient and what type of medications they may take. For patients who suffer from uncontrollable tremors, the doctor can provide soft restraints to prevent injury or accident.

Patients in wheelchairs may present a special challenge to many dentists, but Dr. Hada has the resources necessary to make these patients comfortable. If possible, the doctor and our staff will move the patient from his wheelchair to the exam chair and make sure he feels as comfortable as possible. In some cases, the patient cannot move from his wheelchair. In these situations, the doctor can adjust the office so that he can bring the instruments to the patient.

Call Us Today for More Information

If you care for a special needs patient and would like to learn more about how we can help with the patient’s dental care, call our Mission Viejo, CA, dental office today at (949) 951-1067 and schedule a consultation with Dr. Hada.