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Meeting the Orthodontic Needs Of Special Needs Patients
EAGAN, ST. PAUL AND MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – Administering orthodontic treatment can be challenging when it comes to special needs patients, but Eagan and Inver Grove Heights orthodontist Dr. Jennifer Eisenhuth has developed a knack for it during her 14 years in practice.
The Inver Grove Heights braces specialist recently was featured in a Sun-Current newspaper article after she provided treatment for an autistic child. The article details how Kay Neubert sought orthodontic treatment for her daughter and finally found it with Eisenhuth.
Eisenhuth has spent years learning best practices when it comes to treating special needs patients.
“There are some definite challenges, so it was important to me that my staff and I learned all we could about how to make treatment possible for special needs patients,” said the Eagan and Inver Grove Heights orthodontics professional. “Parents of these patients tend to be highly motivated when it comes to doing whatever it takes to provide what is best for their children. They don’t want to hear that treatment isn’t possible. They want to know that we can make it happen.”
And that’s what Eisenhuth does. Whether it’s giving a patient a stuffed animal to hold while in the treatment chair or providing an electronic gadget to play with, Eisenhuth and her staff have a bag of tricks they turn to when trying to keep special needs patients happy, comfortable and calm.
The Inver Grove Heights Invisalign provider describes the approach as a philosophy of engagement, distraction and relationship-building.
“We strive to create an environment that is fun and will help patients not think about the process so much while they are in the chair,” Eisenhuth said.
Sometimes, treating a special needs child simply requires treatment with something other than traditional braces. For example, if children aren’t going to remain still or be compliant during a banding process, Invisalign treatment may be a viable option.
It isn’t always the best option, however. For example, autistic children sometimes find it difficult to tolerate the Invisalign aligners on their teeth. If the appliances constantly are being removed by the patient, they aren’t as effective.
“In those cases, parents can only harp so much on their children about wearing the appliances,” said Eisenhuth, who also is an Eagan and Inver Grove Heights Incognito braces specialist.
The Need For Treating Special Needs
Regardless of the treatment method and no matter how difficult or challenging special needs patients may be, there is a definite demand for orthodontic treatment among this segment of the population, Eisenhuth said. Special needs individuals tend to have a high prevalence and increased severity of malocclusion.
“There may be treatment limitations because of the special needs patient’s temperament,” said the Inver Grove Heights invisible braces provider. “Other times, special care must be taken because some special needs patients find it difficult to allow work to be done in their mouths.”
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