Special Health Care Needs

Patients with Special Health Care Needs (SHCN) are those with physical, medical, developmental, or cognitive conditions that limit their ability to receive routine dental care.

The Pamela Kaminski Clinic for Adolescents and Adults with Special Health Care Needs serves individuals with special needs throughout the state of South Carolina. The goals of the program are to:

  • Provide care for adolescents and adult patients with special dental and health care needs.
  • Provide patients with SHCN a dental home for continued dental care, either through continued treatment at our facility or through a concierge transition to a provider in the community.
  • Train dental students and residents in the treatment of patients with SHCN.

Become a Patient

Our clinic serves adolescents and adults with Special Health Care Needs (SHCN). For treatment of children with SHCN, please contact our Department of Pediatric Dentistry.

Dr. Ziegler and patient getting stickers

The SHCN clinic provides a full range of services, preventive services, including cleanings, x-rays and restorative dentistry, endodontics (root canals) and oral surgery.

Patient management techniques range from behavioral guidance, to pharmacological management such as premedication with anxiolytics and nitrous oxide, up to services performed in the hospital operating room when necessary.  We work closely with caregivers and work interprofessionally with physicians and members of the medical team to assure that the choice of management techniques are appropriate for each individual.

Patients who attend our clinic may have Special Health Care Needs ranging from intellectual disabilities, (such as Down syndrome, or autistic spectrum disorder) physical disabilities (such as cerebral palsy or stroke or accident related paralysis) neurologic disorder (such as dementia or Alzheimer's disease) as well as many others with syndromes and medically complex needs.

Patient in front of ClinicCare is delivered in a specially designed clinic located on the first floor of the Dental Clinic Building. The clinic includes 4 treatment rooms: 2 of which are extra-large to accommodate patients and family members or other special equipment, one accessible room specifically designed to accommodate patients who present in a wheelchair or stretcher, on traditional treatment room and includes an observation area. Care is provided by dental students and residents of our Advanced Education in General Dentistry program supervised by experienced College of Dental Medicine faculty members. Residents and faculty in specialty departments within the college are also available to provide specialty care if needed.Multiple Drs. treating a patient

For further information and to inquire about becoming a patient in our clinic, please call 843-876-SMIL(E). Our clinic works with private dental insurance, and also accepts Medicaid. If you'd like to prepare the patient for a visit in the Special Care Clinic, this Social Story (PDF) may provide some assistance.

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