Questions for Your Dentist
By: Jill Grattan, Nevada Dual Sensory Impairment Project
- Are you a pediatric dentist?
- What information should I bring regarding my child's medical history (is a verbal report ok or should I bring copies of medical records)?
- What information should I bring regarding my child's dental history (is a verbal report ok or should I bring copies of dental records)?
- What information should I bring regarding my child's social history?
- Do you have experience working with children who have [blank] (my child's specific diagnosis)?
- Do you have experience working with children who have [blank] (my child's medical condition)?
General Dental Questions
- When does my child get [blank] (type of baby teeth)?
- When does my child get his/her permanent teeth?
- How many times per day should I brush my child’s teeth? For how long?
- What type of toothpaste/toothbrush should I use with my child?
- When can my child brush his/her teeth without supervision?
- How do I know when my child with special needs is getting a cavity? What do I look for on his/her teeth? In his/her behavior?
- How do I teach my child to tolerate flossing?
- How do I teach my child to tolerate tooth brushing?
- Does my community have fluoride in the water?
- Should I give my child fluoride?
Planning the Visit
- Can we discuss what my child’s needs are before the appointment?
- Can we discuss what to expect at the first appointment before the appointment so I can prepare my child?
- Can I have a pre-appointment orientation to familiarize my child with your dental office, equipment, staff, etc.?
- How many times can we visit, before the actual appointment, to familiarize my child with the dental office?
- Could we arrange a brief fun way to introduce the dental office staff to my child prior to them touching my child?
Regarding the Visit
- Can I stay with my child throughout the exam?
- Will you explain each part of exam and why you are doing that exam?
- Will you introduce instruments by allowing the child to touch and hold instrument?
- Will you touch the part of the mouth the instrument will be in contact with?
- Will you allow for extra time with my child for my child to process the information?
- Can my child hold a comfort object throughout the exam?
Regarding Potential Problem Behavior
- Are you willing to work with me to develop a plan to teach my child to cooperate with dental procedures?
- Can you provide details regarding any behavioral assessments that may take place in your office (i.e., what do you typically do)?
- What information should I bring regarding my child’s behavior support plan?
- Are you willing to follow the guidelines of my child’s existing behavior support plan?
- Are you willing to accept feedback (what is working and what is not working) about your interactions with my child, so that we can work together to improve my child’s success?
- If my child does not cooperate during the visit, what are our options?
- Voice control, distraction, etc.?
- Protective restraint?
- Nitrous oxide (laughing gas)?
- Oral conscious sedation?
- General anesthesia?
- What if I don’t like (option)? What is the next step?