Special Needs Services Specialist

Desert Ridge Orthodontics

Orthodontics located in Phoenix, AZ

Finding a dental environment where you or your loved one can feel safe and welcomed can be tricky. At Desert Ridge Orthodontics, Michael Papademetriou, DDS, and Catherine Smith, DDS, help men, women, and families with special needs in Phoenix get the care they need to ensure optimal dental health. If you’d like to learn more about dental services at Desert Ridge, get in touch by phone or online today to book an appointment.

Special Needs Services Q & A

What are special needs?

Dr. Papademetriou and Dr. Smith are trained to treat patients on the autism spectrum, patients with Down syndrome, or patients with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD).

Everyone naturally requires individualized care, but the team at Desert Ridge Orthodontics knows when a patient needs extra attention, more support, and a more compassionate approach to dental care.

What is autism?

Autism refers to a neurodevelopmental disorder generally diagnosed in early infancy and most commonly in boys.

With this disorder, you have trouble communicating in social settings and might find it difficult to relate to people around you. Children with autism often have trouble:

  • Making eye contact
  • Changing their routine
  • Communicating with other people
  • Reacting appropriately to situations
  • Focusing on multiple things at once
  • Allowing others to speak in a social setting
  • Staying alert

Dr. Papademetriou and Dr. Smith make sure to take the time necessary to make your child feel safe and in good hands. At no time will your child see an assistant. In these cases, the doctors spend the entirety of the time with your child.

What is Down syndrome?

Down syndrome refers to a genetic disorder that occurs when an abnormal cell division leads to an extra or partial copy of chromosome 21. This might cause developmental or physical changes. In most cases, Down syndrome causes learning disabilities in children and can lead to heart or gastrointestinal disorders.

Dr. Papademetriou and Dr. Smith work closely with you or your child to ensure that they are comfortable. They’ve established an effective method of diluting complex information into digestible, fun dental facts to make sure their patients enjoy their visit.

What is oppositional defiant disorder?

Children struggling with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) can have a hard time behaving at the dentist’s office. With this condition, children or teenagers have anger-management issues, are often irritable and vindictive, and defy authority figures.

Dr. Papademetriou and Dr. Smith are incredibly patient when it comes to managing patients with ODD. Their compassionate approach to dentistry makes it so that children don’t recognize the dentist's office as a space of authority. The team at Desert Ridge Orthodontics, therefore, tries its best to be equals in these situations.

If you’ve been having a hard time finding dental care for your children because of any disorders they might be struggling with, look no further. Get in touch with Dr. Papademetriou and Dr. Smith today by phone or online to book an appointment with an expert dental professional.