By Children’s Village Pediatric Dentist, Dr. Jessica DeBord
Children’s Village Pediatric Dentistry serves all children, those with special needs and those without. We provide the full scope of pediatric dental services including prevention, dental treatment, sedation, and dental care under general anesthesia (both at Children’s Village and at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital), but we do a lot more! Children’s Village Pediatric Dentistry is tailored to meet the unique needs of all children, especially those with special needs.
When you enter the dental clinic at Children’s Village you will notice the beautiful mural, stained glass windows, the bright overhead lights are turned off, and there is a conspicuous lack of white coats. Many of our patients have had a lot of experience with healthcare environments, even at a young age, so we work very hard to make our dental office as kid-friendly and welcoming as possible. We are also working to modify other parts of our dental environment to make it more accommodating for children who have sensory issues. We modify each dental visit to meet the unique needs of our patients—we see patients in their wheelchairs instead of dental chairs, we have children come for desensitization visits without doing treatment to get them used to the dental environment, and we examine younger kids in their parents’ laps so they don’t need to be separated from their parents. As part of the Central Washington Cleft Lip and Palate Team, we also provide some unique services for children with cleft lip and palate. We offer Naso Alveolar Molding (NAM) for infants with cleft lip and palate to get the tissues into a better position before surgical repair, and we make appliances that go in the mouth to help children with cleft palates with their speech.
Our goal is for all children to have healthy mouths and receive the dental care they need and, equally important to us is that children have a positive experience at the dentist. Our dental team has the training and expertise to care for the unique needs of each child we see, especially those with special needs.
On a personal note, having two sisters with Down Syndrome, I know firsthand the difficulty in being able to access appropriate and timely healthcare for my sisters. I know the challenge of finding providers that are both knowledgeable about and comfortable with people with special needs. I also know what it is like to have to go to multiple clinics because some places only serve children with special needs, and siblings have to go to a different clinic. Children’s Village Pediatric Dentistry exists so that families won’t have to face those challenges in finding competent and empathetic dentists for their children with special needs and their siblings!
For more information on Pediatric Dentistry at Children’s Village visit yakimachildrensvillage.org/pediatric-dental-services.asp or call (509) 574-3220.