Special Needs Dentistry

At Staten Island Pediatric Dentistry, we are passionate about helping all children achieve and maintain healthy smiles. Dr. Michelle Flanigan and Dr. Yelena Lange are board-certified pediatric dentists whose training includes working with children with special health care needs.

The comfort of all of our patients is essential to us, and you'll find this is fundamental to the way we care for patients who have special health care needs. Dr. Michelle Flanigan and Dr. Yelena Lange are patient communicators. They use an understanding and compassionate approach when treating children who have special needs or who are medically compromised.

What Are Special Health Care Needs?

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, special health care needs range from sensory, behavioral, or cognitive conditions to developmental and limiting conditions that require specialized services and medical management.

One area of special needs dentistry in which our dentists excel is working with children who don't always understand what's happening around them. As part of their specialized training, Dr. Flanigan and Dr. Lange have training in behavioral guidance and will work with your child's needs to assist them in remaining calm and receptive.

Our Caring Approach to Children with Special Needs

Communication: As a parent or caregiver, you know your child's situation better than anyone. We always start each visit by chatting with you and learning about their special circumstances. Then we work together to provide the most appropriate care.

Adaptability: No two people with special needs are the same. Our pediatric dental team understands that children with special needs require a patient approach. Rather than asking them to adapt to us, we remain flexible. The most important things for the patient are to establish a safe space and respect their emotional well-being.

Compassion: Dr. Flanigan and Dr. Lange care deeply about your child's oral health and emotional well-being. Each member of our dental team was chosen for their positive attitude, compassionate nature, and flexibility when treating children with special healthcare needs.

Special Health Care Needs Dentistry

Every child's dental health needs are as unique as their smiles and require an individualized approach. This is especially true of differently-abled children who are often at increased risk for developing cavities and gum disease. They may have sensory challenges that make brushing and flossing a challenge, or they may have developmental issues that prevent them from opening their jaw fully or sitting comfortably in the dental chair.

Dr. Flanigan and Dr. Lange will examine your child's teeth and gums to determine their risk for oral diseases. Then, they will develop a treatment plan individualized for the child's specific needs. Our preventive approach includes sharing recommendations with parents or caregivers for brushing, flossing, and managing their child's dietary habits.

Our team will provide the information you need to feel confident about managing your child's oral health care needs at home. Remember, we are always just a phone call away if you have a question or encounter a problem.

Hospital-Based Sedation Dentistry

Receiving routine dental care is crucial for your child's optimal well-being and overall health. For patients who have sensory challenges, high anxiety, or developmental issues that make it challenging to sit still, sedation dentistry is an excellent option to ensure the most positive and safe experience.

We will always try to treat your child in our dental office, but sometimes the safest and healthiest choice for them is hospital sedation. Our dentists have hospital privileges at Northwell Staten Island University Hospital North and can provide comfortable treatment under general anesthesia safely delivered by a trained anesthesiologist. Your child won't remember anything afterward, and sometimes that can be very helpful.

Compassionate Special Needs Dentistry in Staten Island

Our pediatric dentists in Staten Island have decades of combined experience in providing safe, compassionate dentistry for the diverse needs of all of our young patients. If your child with special needs is due for a dental checkup, please call us at (718) 761-7316 to schedule a convenient appointment.