Special Needs Dentistry

We are passionate about treating children with special healthcare needs and have been helping children in Winston-Salem and Kernersville for over 30 years. 

Providing comprehensive preventive and therapeutic pediatric dental care to patients who have special healthcare needs is an important aspect of the specialty of pediatric dentistry. We value the unique qualities of each young smile we treat, and seek to ensure maximal health for all, regardless of developmental disability or other healthcare issues.

What does 'special healthcare needs' mean?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry defines special healthcare needs as “any physical, developmental, mental, sensory, behavioral, cognitive, or emotional impairment or limiting condition that requires medical management, healthcare intervention, and/or use of specialized services or programs.” Whether your child’s condition is congenital, developmental, or the result of disease or trauma, we can provide guidance and raise awareness of his or her special dental care needs.

How does your office help children with special healthcare needs? 

Dental care for patients with special needs requires specialized knowledge acquired by additional training, as well as increased awareness and attention, adaptation, and accommodative measures beyond routine treatment. At our office, we have the experience necessary to provide suitable dental care while keeping in mind the unique nature of the children we see.  Additionally, all of our doctors are board-certified and have completed extensive training in how to best help patients with special healthcare needs.  

It is our goal to create a dental home for your child, where treatment can be delivered safely, and ideal dental health can be achieved.  We have several tools in our office to help meet your child's needs:

  • Prior to the dental appointment, we have several desensitization strategies

    • We are happy to loan you a "My Dental Visit" book that features pictures of our office, doctors, and outlines what to expect
    • We can schedule an office tour so your child and you can become familiarized with the signs and sounds of our dental office
  • During the visit, we can accomodate your child with any of his/her needs

    • Private dental rooms children who prefer silence or a less-busy atmosphere
    • Ceiling-mounted TVs with headphones for children who benefit from distraction
    • Weighted blankets and pillows
    • Sunglasses or eclipse glasses for children with photophobia
    • Flavor-free toothpastes for children with taste aversions

​What should I do if my child with special healthcare needs requires certain accomodations for a successful visit?

We are always willing to try different strategies to ensure a successful visit.  We understand that parents of children with special healthcare needs are the best resources and will always listen to your suggestions!  If you think your child would benefit from a certain set-up (such as a private room, weighted blanket, etc), simply let us know when you schedule the visit!  

What parents of children with special healthcare needs are saying about our office

"My son is autistic and the staff makes sure he is comfortable and works with us to ensure a great visit.  This is the only dentist he has ever seen (since he was a year old) and we don't plan on oging anywhere else!"
-Lewis M

"Dr. Kate is the best.  Being a parent of a cleft child, they require a lot more attention at times.  Dr. Kate has been amazing every step of the way.  Would recommend to anyone needing a pediatric dentist."
-Shannon Y

"Dr. Gina and the entire staff are simply amazing!  Their office is incredibly warm and welcoming, and they make each child feel so at ease in a potentially scary situation.  My oldest daughter LOVES going to the dentist and just seems to have the best time learning about her teeth, getting them cleaned, picking out a new toothbrush and a prize and chatting with all the friendly staff.  I also have a daughter with special needs, and the thought of getting her teeth cleaned has terrified me for a long time.  Dr. Gina and her staff are SO patient, kind, and attentive to our needs.  They make me so comfortable and that translates to a calmer, more cooperative child who senses that I trust those who are caring for her.  I cannot say enough positive things about our experiences at this office.  We are so grateful for their truly oustanding patient care!"
-Ashley T