On the list of things we all dread, going to the dentist is at the top for most. Each of us have our own reasons for disliking dental visits, whether it be the sting of the injections, the sound of the drill, or the metal instruments poking around in our mouth. For those who are disabled, it can be a dreaded experience from the get-go because for individuals who have specific accessibility needs, it can take some extra planning.
Dental visits are especially important for those with disabilities. There can be many factors that can negatively affect teeth, such as long-term illnesses or medications. Depending on the condition, a person may need to visit the dentist more that the recommended twice a year for check-ups. So, having a dental care provider that makes receiving dental care accessible is a must.
A well informed dental care provider
You want a dentist that knows about your disability, medications and how they might affect your teeth. They will know what indications to look for that a problem may arrive in the future and be able to take corrective action before it becomes an issue. It’s well known that an infection in a tooth can get into the bloodstream, causing health complications in other areas of the body. When someone is already compromised with a physical disability, those complications can be more severe.
Find an accessible dental office
By law, businesses have to be handicap accessible by way of parking, entrance into the building and restroom areas. With that being said, you want to find a dental office that caters to your needs during treatment as well. Look for a dental office that doesn’t impede people with physical disabilities from seeking dental care. Look for widened doorways and extra large treatment rooms. Search for a provider that has equipment, such as a Hoyer lift, that makes transferring from a wheelchair to a treatment chair easy. Some dental offices that cater specifically to wheelchair uses may utilize wheelchair platforms.
As you begin searching for a special needs dentist, begin by talking to your primary care provider. They may have suggestions. To find out if a dental office can accommodate someone in a wheelchair call the office to find out. There is also a website that has a searchable database of accessible dentist in your area.
With a little research going to the dentist doesn’t have to be stressful at all. There are dentists out there who facilitate to patients that are in a wheelchair or have other mobility concerns.