Preparing The Adult with Disabilities For a Visit to the Dentist
A visit to the dentist can be an anxiety-producing event for the adult with disabilities. Music therapy can make the visit a more pleasant experience for anyone but particularly for the adult with special needs.
Music has a great impact on the body, mind and spirit. It can be an effective means of stimulating and focusing attention for both the verbal and non-verbal individual. Music Therapy is a well-known aid in calming anxiety and agitation because the repetition within the music makes it calming and enjoyable. Music can structure time in a way that a person with a disability can understand. It can be relaxing and help alter the perception of pain.
If the special needs individual has never had an experience listening to music, here are few tips to ensure a positive experience during their visit to the dentist. For an hour a day, for 7 days prior to the dental appointment:
- explore various types of music to find the right rhythm and instrumental sound that stimulates and boosts the person’s overall positive emotions
- listen to the music each day during the week getting to know the words or rhythm while singing or clapping out loud
- do this activity in a place where the atmosphere is comfortable with plenty of soothing light, sounds and smells
Now that the individual is prepared for the dental visit, try to locate a dentist who has experience with adult disabilities and let them know that you’re using music therapy. Most dentists will allow you to bring a cd player or mp3 player into the examination room. Even though this may be a new surrounding to the special needs patient, the music will immediately make them feel comfortable. Once the individual is at ease, the dentist can provide the specialized care they were trained to do.
Dr. Romano treats both children and adults with special needs in his Bridgeport office. In addition, he has operating room privileges at Danbury Hospital for those patients who need to be sedated. Appointments for special needs patients are scheduled through Dr. Romano’s Bridgeport office.
“ Music speaks what cannot be expressed, soothes the mind and gives it rest, heals the heart and makes it whole, flows from heaven to the soul.” Source unknown.