Grinning Again: Pediatric Dentistry Takes the Stress Away
Going to the dentist can be a challenge for Hayden, a strawberry blonde 10-year-old who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair to get around. His mom, Julie McCauley, worried about everything from navigating his wheelchair in the dentist’s office to being able to explain his condition.
That’s why Akron Children’s recently opened Celeste Myers Dental Clinic is such a relief for Julie and other parents whose children need a little extra support when going to the dentist.
“Akron Children’s is phenomenal and excellent to work with,” said Julie. “Everything always felt so rushed with past dentists, but not with Dr. Berlin. He’s very personable, patient and wonderful with Hayden.”
Jeffrey Berlin, DMD, leads a 5-person staff in the dental clinic. As a pediatric dentist, he’s specially trained to care for children with special needs and other medical conditions, like heart issues, that might make it more difficult for them to be seen elsewhere.
He understands the special care needed for these children’s conditions and how to make them feel at ease when they come for visits.
“We see patients in 8 private, yet spacious, ultra-quiet exam rooms that give our staff the opportunity to focus on them without any distractions,” said Dr. Berlin. “We do our best to help kids who may have anxiety about dentistry emerge confident in their dental procedures – that’s one of the best parts about my job.”
But the dental clinic isn’t just about moderating these patients’ fears – it’s about giving them access to preventive dental care when they have been long underserved.
“Some families have been unable to find dentists and no one has been able to take care of their kids,” said Dr. Berlin. “And we don’t just treat children with special needs, but children who have lacked access to a dentist, regardless of their ability to pay. It’s so rewarding to be trained and to have the resources to help these families who’ve been looking for the right care for so long. These families are so thankful and it feels great to be part of a team that really cares.”
Julie is certainly thankful.
“Whether I’m taking my son to the dental clinic or the palliative care center, I love Akron Children’s Hospital and would recommend it to anyone,” said Julie.