Special Needs Dentistry

Providing excellent dental care for children with specialized needs

Drs. Monisha and Prashant Gagneja take pride in providing excellent dental care for children with specialized needs. Vancouver pediatric dentists Dr. Mo and Dr. G have acquired expert knowledge, intensive professional training, and vast experience that make them uniquely capable to serve children and families through special needs dentistry.

For new patient intake, due to limited scope of pediatric dental services that can be provided in older children (like root canal treatments and crowns on adult teeth), some age restrictions apply

At Must Love Kids®, Drs. Prashant and Monisha Gagneja and their team are honored to work with families and children with a wide range of special health care needs. These include any physical, developmental, mental, sensory, behavioral, cognitive, or emotional impairment or limiting condition that requires medical management, health care intervention, and/or use of specialized services. Dr. Monisha Gagneja has worked extensively with children with Autism, Downs Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and ADHD as well as other medical conditions.

Finding a dental home where the doctors listen, understand and address your special circumstances while providing all aspects of oral care in a comprehensive, continuously accessible, coordinated, and family-centered way may be a challenge.

Drs. Prashant and Monisha Gagneja and their team at Must Love Kids® will become your therapeutic partners, providing resources available to establish a life-long relationship towards the health of each child. Striving to work with you and your child’s physicians, the doctors and team members will guide your child through each experience at Must Love Kids®, maintaining this valuable relationship throughout their time with us.

When the time arises, Drs. Monisha and Prashant Gagneja will prepare each patient and parent regarding the value of transitioning to a general dentist or a specialist who is knowledgeable in specialized oral health care needs for children with adult dentition.

At Must Love Kids®, Dr. G and Dr. Mo’s team use a comprehensive approach to children’s dentistry that can be adapted to each child’s needs, supporting the mental, physical, and emotional requirements of children as they bring new knowledge of a dental office into their every day routine. We understand each child is unique, with individualized responses to new experiences.

We encourage parents to bring their kids for “happy visits” before the day of  their first appointments to tour the clinic and meet our team. We ask parents in advance about each child’s special health concerns and habits, including what relaxes or upsets them so we can tailor each appointment according to your child’s special needs .

To help children feel more comfortable, we use Tell-Show-Do approach for all appointments and encourage a gradual introduction to dentistry.

Our team at Must Love Kids®, your pediatric dentist in Vancouver WA, has a variety of behavior guidance approaches and are able to accurately assess each child’s developmental level, dental attitudes, and temperament and to predict each child’s reaction to treatment.

The technique involves verbal explanations of procedures in  phrases appropriate to the developmental level of the patient (tell); demonstrations for the patient of the visual, sound, smell, and touch sensations of the procedure in a carefully defined, nonthreatening setting (show); and then, without deviating from the explanation and demonstration, completion of the procedure (do). The Tell-Show-Do technique is used with communication skills (verbal and nonverbal) as well as positive reinforcement throughout each appointment.

Additional strategies that help prevent and treat dental anxiety include:

  • Positive verbal reinforcement throughout dental treatment.
  • Distraction: The televisions and movies in each room appropriately distract children during the dental procedures and help alleviate the anxiety. The team at Must Love Kids® also uses “story telling” and engaging children in friendly talks as well as soothing LED lights in the treatment rooms.
  • Nitrous oxide/oxygen inhalation: This can be  used when required by our well-trained team and is a safe and effective technique to reduce anxiety and enhance effective communication.
  • Oral conscious sedation with protective stabilization can be safely and effectively used with patients who are unable to receive dental care for reasons of age, mental or physical disabilities, or medical conditions.