Seeking a Dentist for Autistic Child

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Sedation dentist for ASD 4 year old

May 2012

Our son is 4 1/2 and on the Autism Spectrum. He has never been to the dentist and has poor oral hygiene. I would really like to get him a check up and a cleaning sooner rather than later. He is going to have to be sedated for this, because just brushing his teeth is a two person job. Any recommendations for a good, kid friendly, special needs friendly, sedation dentist near Albany or the surrounding area? Thanks! Amy

Denise Bass Allen is an experienced pediatric dentist who is able to get the most severe special needs children through the dental experience with flying colors. Her staff is also experienced and knowledgeable and knows how to support you and your child. If sedation is needed, she will do it, but it's amazing what they are able to accomplish without sedation. I worked at a group home where all our children saw Ms. Allen and even some of the young men with severe emotional disturbances were able to get through the dentist without sedation- young men weighing 200 lbs. She also takes Medi-Cal, which makes her one of the few local pediatric dentists outside of Alameda County dental services that does. She's in downtown Oakland on Broadway. Rachel

My son developed severe dental anxiety after a bad experience with another dentist. After several years of working intensively (lots of appointments taking ''baby steps'') with Dr. Bob Khalil at Aloha Dental (who is amazing, btw), we ended up having to do full sedation to get some work done. Dr. Khalil recommended Alameda Pediatric Dentistry. They were great with my son and the whole experience went as smoothly as possible. It definitely was not inexpensive though. The anesthesia alone cost around $1,000 and was not covered by our Delta Dental insurance. Anon

Dentist for autistic 3 1/2 year old

May 2010

I am looking fora dentist for my 3 1/2 years old, he is autistic and has lot of behavioural issues. we need to see a dentist,because he doesn't allow to brush him. now it has become a necessity to see a dentist immediately. any recomendation or suggestions. lots of thanks

Dr. Bob Khalil at Aloha Kids (in Orinda and Berkeley) is excellent with my 4 year old with ASD. They have a ''quiet hour'' once a day for special needs kiddos (though sometimes the wait is long for one of those appointments). We've been really happy with the Dr. Bob and the whole office. Best, Heather

there is a wonderful dentist in Fremont named Dr. Mamta Shah, DDS . she works with children and adults and has an extremely calm and gentle manner. she sees many autistic patients and sometimes uses light, flexible wire appliances that gently release the high narrow plate and dental crowding that often occurs in autism spectrum kids. i refer many of my patients to her and even take my own children. i think she is worth the drive! berkeley doc

Orthodontist who uses anesthesia for autistic son

April 2009

Hi Everyone, I am looking for an orthodontist that uses anesthesia for my autistic son who is very dentist phobic. I am not expecting perfection just straight enough will do. He is a very handsome young man and I can't help feeling his appearance will help his future. Does anyone know an orthodontist with a lot of patience or maybe an autistic kid of his own? I am willing to travel (we live in Oakland). Thanks for you help. Autism Mom

Greetings! I would HIGHLY recommend calling the BLENDE DENTAL GROUP in SF. Their phone number is: 800-575-3375. They specialize in dentistry for the dental phobic and have every type of anesthesia available for their patients. While they are not orthodontists, there is a Harvard trained orthodontist, who is excellent, in the same building, Dr. Bella Shen-Garnett 415-292-2345, that they often work with. They will also be a great dental resource for you with your son's special needs. The office staff is very kind and gives everyone the special care they require.

Dentist for 2.5 year old with autism

Nov 2008

Can anyone recommend a dentist for my 2.5 year old son who has autism? No dental insurance, so I'm not looking for a specific provider -- just someone who is skilled with young children with special needs. It looks like my kid has some issues with his bite, so we may need someone skilled with pediatric orthedontia as well. Prefer Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda, Orinda but will travel for right situation.
Dreading the appointment

Hi, we have a dev. disabled 9 yr. old with multiple social and behavioral diagnosis and first saw Dr. Meeta Doshi (very calm and sensitive but is not exclusively a pediatric-dentist). We just switched (at Dr. Doshi's recomm.) to Dr. Vivian Lopez (510) 848-4430, in Berkeley. She and her staff have been extremely patient, experienced and adept at getting x-rays, cleanings and exams completed. Not sure about orthodontics, we're currently seeing Dr. Brad Irving and will probably need to find someone else who uses sedation for future work when my son is around 11. So, I'm curious to hear who else is out there too! *need similar answers*

I recommend Dr. Katsura in Orinda. My son is on the autistic spectrum, and we received the recommendation from Dr. Katsura on the BPN. He actually has an appointment time reserved for patients that need more time, etc, and I believe there is only one patient in the office at that time, which is nice. On our first visit, we didn't go during this special time, and it was not fun, but on the second visit, we did, and it worked out great. They also gave us a little dentist kit that we used to practice with, so by the time the second appointment came along, my son felt more comfortable with someone checking his teeth, etc. Good luck! dreaded the dentist too, but not anymore

You should contact Dr. Ed Matsuishi in El Cerrito. I don't know if he has any specific experience with autistic children, but he is a FANTASTIC pediatric dentist. He, his staff, and his office are so well-suited to children who are or may be fearful/difficult in a dentist's office (like my son, who has needed EXTENSIVE work on his teeth). The waiting room has a great train table, and while the children are in the exam chairs, they can watch TV and listen to it on head phones. Liz O.

RE: dentist for autistic child- call the California Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped CFDH (sorry, their name, maybe they're working on that. . . ) 1800 872 6176. They're in Sacto, and have listings of local DDS that serve people w/ disabilities. The person I've contacted in the past is Linda Herrera. Good luck. anon

4-year-old on the mild end of the spectrum

July 2008

It's time to finally take our 4 year old son to the dentist for the first time. He is on the mild end of the autism spectrum, so we're interested in finding a dentist with some experience with children who have special needs and sensory challenges. Any suggestions or positive dentistry experiences for quirky kids? Christa

My son has autism and we see Dr. Khalil (''Dr. Bob'') at the Pediatric Dentistry office in North Berkeley off Solano (510 528-1546). They have an hour every week or so that they set aside for the special needs kids. Usually they have one room full of kids, but in this hour the kid gets the room to him/herself. They also have a hygienist there who has an adult son on the spectrum and she totally ''gets'' it, if you know what I'm sayin'. I'm not entirely sure about Dr. Bob's ASD experience, other than with my son, but I've liked him very much and my son has always had a great experience there. Jill

Neil Katsura successfully treated 2 of my children and my niece after tooth accidents when they were under 2. My daughter, who definitely qualifies as a quirky kid, although not for the autism spectrum, thought he was great, and was very cooperative with him. My children have seen all of his partners throughout the years as well, and never a complaint. The practice seems to know how to cope even with scary procedures like drilling. ( ; they have 3 offices, but you can reach any of them from 848-6494). Mother of 3

I know this challenge sooooo well and I'm very happy to pass along this excellent resource to you. My 11 yr old autistic son was absolutely terrified of dentists and doctors and we had several nightmarish experiences trying to get his teeth checked/cleaned. Each visit ended with a complete meltdown and no work done. I finally lucked into finding the Blende Dental Group in San Francisco. They are a special needs practice with wonderful staff who really get autism. They are sensitive and caring, paying attention to every detail of my son's needs and I'm thrilled that he's finally able to get great dental care. Its worth the drive into the city. They're located at 390 Laurel Street, Suite 310, SF, 94118 (near Laurel Village Shopping Center). Phone is (415) 563-4261. There's alot of helpful information at their website too. Hope this helps. Meg

My friend with a 9 yr old son on the autism spectrum has previously waxed poetic about his son's dentist in San Francisco. This dentist has a special understanding of the needs and concerns of kids on the spectrum. Here is what my friend says: ''It's Dr David Rothman and he's on both Ocean and Union St. (in San Francisco) 415-333-6811. And he's terrific.'' signed - a friend of kids on the spectrum, and their parents