2711 N. Duke Street   Durham, NC 27704


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Duke Oral Health

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DSPD Safety Protocol

Dental Care for Your Special Healthcare Needs Child


Do special needs children have unique dental needs?

Most do.  Our practice has found that some special needs children are more susceptible to tooth decay, gum disease; oral trauma and heavy tartar build up.  Others require medication or diets that are detrimental to good dental health.  Still other children have physical difficulty with effective dental habits at home.  The good news is that poor dental health is preventable if dental care is started early and followed conscientiously, every child can enjoy a beautiful healthy smile.


How can I prevent dental problems for my special needs child?

A first dental visit by the first birthday will start you child on a lifetime of good dental health.  We will take a full medical history, gently examine you’re your child’s teeth and gums, and then plan preventive care designed for your child’s needs.


Are your doctors and staff prepared to care for special needs children?

Absolutely!  Dr. Keels has 3 years of advanced training beyond dental school and their education has a specialized focus on care for children with special needs. In addition, our office is universally designed to assist children and parents who may have additional needs.


Will my child need special care during dental treatment?

Some children need more support than a gentle, caring manner to feel comfortable during treatment.  Protective stabilization or mild sedation may benefit your child.  If your child needs extensive dental treatment, we may suggest providing care in the hospital under general anesthesia.  Dr. Keels has comprehensive education in behavior management and anesthesia techniques.  All our doctors have Pediatric Advanced Life-Saving (PALS) certification and speciality licensure from the North Carolina Dental State Board to provide sedation for children. They will select a technique based on the specific health of your child, and then discuss the benefits, limits, and risks.