Taking My Special Needs Son to Mount Alvernia Outreach Clinic for Dental Treatment – By Karen-Sophia Neoh

From January to March 2022, CaringSG and Mount Alvernia Outreach Clinic collaborated to enable 60 pairs of caregivers and dependents receive free scaling and polishing services. 

Caregiver Karen-Sophia Neoh shares about her positive experience and includes tips for caregivers on what to prepare when taking their special needs dependent to the dentist.

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I am full-time caregiver of a 19-year-old epileptic son with Global Developmental Delay and Autism Spectrum Disorder. He used to be resistant to any dental treatment and needed to be restrained. However, over some time, with familiarity, he is getting more and more receptive.

During treatment, he usually needs to be held down, hence we need one person to hold his legs, while I have to hold his hands. However, he does calm down eventually and scaling and polishing can be done to a satisfactory level.

If he cannot receive such treatment even after being restrained, I then worry about the cost and risk of having to put him on general anaesthesia (GA) for treatment.

At Mount Alvernia Outreach Dental Clinic, our experience was a pleasant one. The dentist was very patient. Both the dentist and assistant dentist were very good at managing my son, such as singing and counting to engage him and ease his anxiety. I believe that they will be good with special kids, even if they are younger. Overall, the clinic had a very relaxed atmosphere.

For caregivers who are taking your dependent to the dentist, I would recommend preparing your dependent way ahead for the dental appointment by showing them pictures and videos of a visit to a dentist, reading social stories, familiarising them with dental equipment (some can be found at Daiso and Shopee), etc.

You can also practise counting aloud for opening of their mouth, work on desensitising their mouth and nose areas (using oral motor therapy and/or massage), and practise using mouth bites to keep mouth open.

Featured photo: Mount Alvernia Hospital Facebook Page

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Mount Alvernia Outreach Medical & Dental Clinic

– 10% discount for all CaringSG caregiver members for medical and dental services

– $15* (Medical) and $30* (Dental) for all persons with special needs

 * Please present PWD Concession Card / Developmental Disability Registry Identity Card / any disability membership card issued by various disability service providers or special education schools / a doctor’s memo indicating diagnosis

 To enjoy this discount:

  1. Please contact the respective Mount Alvernia Outreach Medical & Dental Clinic to make an appointment. Contact details are available at https://mtalvernia.sg/about-us/community-outreach/.
  2. Present your CaringSG caregiver membership profile (see example below) to the MAOC staff who will verify your membership status.
  3. To access your membership status on CaringSG, log into www.caring.sg, click on “MEMBERS” or go to caring.sg/members-area.

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