Down Syndrome, Autism, Mental or Physical Disabilities Our team is passionate about treating this patient population
Dr Anthony Herro has treated patients with special needs his entire career. He is Adjunct Faculty in the Special Care Department at the Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health teaching both students and residents. Dr Herro has devoted his practice to easing the accessibility special needs patients have to oral healthcare.
Fear of dentists is fairly common, but a dental visit can be especially stressful for children and adults who have special needs, including mental and physical disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, behavioral issues, ADHD, limitations caused by medical conditions, and extreme anxiety or phobias. The highly qualified team at Dental on Central specializes in these difficult-to-treat cases and can even complete complicated, multi-step procedures in fewer visits under one roof.
We understand how difficult it can be for people with special health care needs to undergo dental treatment. At Dental on Central, our team of Phoenix special needs dentists have significant experience in providing high-quality special needs dental care to patients with a range of physical, developmental, emotional, cognitive, and medical conditions – including those diagnosed with autism, a developmental delay, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and ADD or ADHD. If you or your loved one with special needs is in need of dental treatment, we invite you to speak with us about the available personalized care options we offer. Please call our office to speak with our Phoenix special needs dentist at (602) 266-1776 or fill out our contact form online.
Dental on Central – unlike most dental offices – offers dental sedation, AKA “sleep dentistry.” Dr. Ellison Herro, MD, an anesthesiologist and board certified pain management specialist with 30 years of experience, will select the appropriate form of anesthesia to coax each patient into a state of relaxation to alleviate anxiety and stress so that the dentists can get to work. Once a patient is sedated, Dental on Central will perform as much work as possible in one appointment so as to cut down on the number of required visits.
The providers at Dental on Central offer their friendly, comprehensive services with multiple financing options to everyone in the Valley regardless of their age or individual circumstances. In addition, the office’s prime location on Central Avenue near Camelback Road makes it easy to access from anywhere in the metropolitan Phoenix area.
The Special needs dentistry at Dental on Central includes diagnosis and treatment for patients with different types of disabilities. Special needs is considered to be patients who are:
The term “special needs” has a broad meaning and is usually associated with individuals who have disabilities that make communication and learning difficult. This can range from a slight learning disability to something more severe. All children learn at different rates but it’s when a child is severely effected by their inability to learn at the average rate is when they are labeled as special needs.
Special needs and developmental disabilities can be caused by a variety of factors including birth injuries and defects, genetics and illnesses. Some children may never get a formal diagnosis but struggle with communication and learning.
The term “special needs” blankets a wide variety of diagnoses including those that resolve quickly and those that will be a challenge for life. Special needs are typically defined by what a child can’t do or accomplish, which can hit families hard and set a negative overtone moving forward.
Special needs include developmental delays, psychiatric conditions, medical conditions and congenital conditions. Regardless of the diagnosis, it’s important to understand your child’s specific diagnosis to identify what services you need and to set appropriate goals.
Medical conditions in children can include serious illnesses such as cancer, heart defects, and cystic fibrosis. Chronic illnesses, such as asthma and diabetes, also fall under this category. Children may need frequent medical testing, hospital visits and accommodations for disabilities.
Diagnoses for behavioral conditions like ADHD, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, and Tourette’s Syndrome require specialized behavior strategies as children may not respond to traditional methods. These types of special needs can lead to problems at school and in social settings. Parents need to be flexible and patient.
Being diagnosed with a developmental delay can result in difficulties in caring and educating the child. Individuals with Autism and Down syndrome can sometimes feel left out of the mainstream. As a parent, they will have to advocate for their child to receive the services and therapy they deserve.
Learning disabilities such as auditory processing disorder and dyslexia can cause individuals to struggle in school. They will need a specialized learning plan to avoid behavioral problems and self-esteem issues.
Our comprehensive approach to children’s dentistry can be adapted to each child’s needs. We understand that each child is unique, with their own set of mental, physical, or emotional requirements. We treat patients and their families with the respect they deserve and can tailor the appointment according to your child’s special needs. Our goal is to do everything in our power to ensure exams, cleanings and procedures are safe, quick and effective.
We offer and use a variety of behavioral techniques based on predictions of how each child will react to treatment. When necessary, our highly qualified team is able to administer on-site sedation and general anesthesia to help patients relax and receive the care they need. Before doing so, patients and their caregivers will consult with Dr. Anthony Herro, a special needs dentist. Dr. Herro will educate patients and their caregivers on the pros and cons of each approach in order to assist them in making an informed decision.
Dental health is just as important for adults, which may be difficult for those living with physical, mental, or developmental disabilities. Regular dental visits can be overwhelming and filled with unfamiliar sights and sounds, which is why our goal is to accommodate adults with special needs by adapting the care they receive. Dr. Herro has devoted his career to just that, in order to make special needs patients feel comfortable and at ease. For individuals who require mild to deep sedation methods in order for dental care, we provide both oral conscious sedation and IV sedation.
Physically disabled patients may require more extensive accommodations, which we can provide. Our office is in a convenient location, providing patients in wheelchairs easy access to our facilities and treatment rooms. Our dental team works with patients and their families to advance to formulate a plan, which best suits their needs. Along with our specialized skill sets, we can help find the best solutions that enable us to provide sensitive and comprehensive dental care to you or your loved one.
Most of the time, yes, insurance will work for a special needs dentist. However, insurance providers sometimes fall short of paying the costs of what it takes to provide dental care for patients with special needs. Additionally, finding a dentist who will take on a special needs patient is often very difficult, as well as is getting insurance to cover sedation or general anesthesia for routine dental work when needed.
Understanding procedures that your insurer will cover, along with your out-of-pocket requirements are key. Special needs children who are enrolled in Arizona’s Medicaid program, Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), are provided coverage for dental screenings and dental treatment. On the other hand, adults over the age of 21 are only provided $1000 in emergency dental work. When insurance will not cover the dental care that you need, the best thing to do is discuss funding options with your dentist.
Dental on Central provides special needs dental care to patients of all ages, with their safety and emotional well-being in mind. We truly care about each of our patients and wish to provide a comfortable and relaxing experience without anxiety by any means possible. Call us at (602) 266-1776 to book an appointment or consultation with one of our Phoenix special needs dentists today.
COVID-19 (coronavirus) update: Our doors are open for all patients. Please click here to read a message from Dr. Herro about our commitment to your health and safety.