Cailan Newey has Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and suffers from the associated characteristics of significant difficulty communicating and interacting with others. At the age of 6, his parents took him for a dental checkup. The dentist had no solution for keeping him calm, other than “what amounts to a straitjacket”. Cailan was traumatized. At age 11 they tried again. This time the strategy was a gas mask, but they were unsuccessful getting it on. It took four people to hold him down for the general exam and they never were able to take x-rays.
As he got older and bigger, Tessa Newey, Cailan’s mom, believed he might never be able to get proper dental care. By the age of 17, Cailan’s teeth were actually orange and he was starting to have more meltdowns. Mrs. Newey couldn’t help wondering if he was experiencing discomfort with his teeth and visually she knew something was wrong.
Tessa Newey set about seeking dental care for her son, but she said that “every road she went down led to a dead end”. No one would take on his case. No one was capable of taking on his case. Finally, one referral led to another and that dentist referred her to House Call Dentists and the Blende Dental Group. She was skeptical and nervous at what Cailan’s reaction might be this time, but when Tessa and her son arrived at the San Francisco office they couldn’t believe what awaited them. The entire staff was prepared to welcome Cailan and help him feel that this time would be different. The lights were dimmed, the music was soft, and the team was caring. Mrs. Newey explains that “instead of even trying to get him into a dental chair, which would have reminded him of past trauma, they brought us to a small conference room. Dr. Blende gained Cailan’s trust and was able to look in his mouth!”
For the care that Cailan needed, the Blende team offered Mrs. Newey the option for “asleep dentistry” where Cailan would be treated under general anesthesia in a hospital setting. Cailan’s mom said “the hospital procedure went much better than she ever could have imagined. The anesthesiologist was great and within minutes he was out. Two and half hours later he was done, and one hour later he was home and comfortable.”
Mrs. Newey concluded with “the level of experience that the Blende team had made me feel that my child was in good hands from start to finish. It is such a huge relief for a parent, after being through so much, to find people who really know what they’re doing and can truly handle this challenging situation.”
Awake: Carmen and Gail were looking for a new dentist when they moved to San Francisco from Ohio.
Emergency: The emergency room at California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) called The Blende Dental Group because Chris required emergency dental work in the hospital.
At home: Due to her dementia, leaving the memory care unit at Age Song was not an option for Sarah Marie.