Managing Dental Health for a Patient with Dravet Syndrome
Zara Kavarana, 21 years old, has been coming to us at Dr. Michaels Dental Clinic for the last 9 years.
Zara is special and a girl of determination in true sense of words.
She has Dravet Syndrome which is a severe form of epilepsy. It belongs to a group of diseases known as SCN1A-related seizure disorders. The condition appears during the first year of life as frequent fever-related seizures.
For most patients with this syndrome, intellectual development begins to deteriorate around age 2, and affected individuals often have a lack of coordination, poor development of language, hyperactivity, and difficulty relating to others.
The main goal of treatment is to reduce seizures frequency and prevent status epilepticus and people with Dravet syndrome require constant care, and the condition can severely impact the patient’s and family’s quality of life.
Zara’s dental appointments
Her dental appointments are not easy; she has a tendency to throw up due to very severe gag reflex.
I started to see Zara in 2009. We had to go under General Anaesthesia (GA)at that time to fix then pressing dental concerns.
After the first appt under GA, it was a commitment between me and the family to watch over Zara’s teeth consistently.
We scheduled her regular follow ups, good oral hygiene at home; we create timely efforts to bring her in for checkups, routine cleaning and fluoride in the chair.
And today at the age of 21 years, Zara has zero cavities, has good oral hygiene and absolute 100% attendance on all appointments.
I am very humbled with this level of trust that the family has put in me, they even went to an extent of getting special permissions for me to continue with Zara even after she crossed the age of 18 years which is pediatric limit.
Commitment, trust, dedicated efforts both from parents and dentist’s end is what makes the oral health commendable for all our special children.
All it takes is a combination of empathy, skill and belief that we can do it!