Wheelchair-friendly dentists in DC area
July 23, 2009 6:05 PM   Subscribe

Wheelchair-friendly dentist in the Washington DC area (Montgomery County MD if possible)?

A dear friend of mine is in his 70s and uses a power wheelchair. He has some arm strength, but he has no leg muscles and has a big belly, so he's easily thrown off balance when transferring from the wheelchair to the dentist chair. Recently he had a really bad fall when the dental assistant tried misguidedly to "help" him transfer -- she basically shoved him off balance and he fell full force. No apology from her or the dentist, who he's been seeing for 35 years.

He's looking for a different dentist's office where they may be more aware of wheelchair issues. I don't know if there are special arrangements where he could stay in his chair? Or just any office where they are more with-it about this.
posted by LobsterMitten to Health & Fitness (4 answers total)
Can the wheelchair back tilt down?

Are there disability rights/advocacy organizations, or perhaps people who work with those organizations, who might have ideas?
posted by Madamina at 7:44 PM on July 23, 2009

Can the wheelchair back tilt down?
Not to the extent a dental chair can.
I guess the question here is whether there's anyone here who has first-hand experience with this, either as a patient, caregiver, dentist or assistant, and has clever ideas they've used to avoid transferring. He can transfer, but if he didn't have to, that would be easier.

Local disability groups will definitely be something he'll be looking into, and the yellow pages and lots of phone calls. If you have any in mind, I will pass them on to him.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:21 PM on July 23, 2009

An excellent Montgomrty County dentist is Dr Rabin (review) who's located just off Rockville Pike. I don't know about his treatment record with handicapped patients, but his ground-floor office has a street entrance near curb cuts, so navigatition in and out shouldn't be a problem for somebody in a wheelchair.
posted by Rash at 1:52 PM on July 27, 2009

My friend has had an appointment with Dr Mark Gross (also in his office, Dr Wendy Musolf) in Chevy Chase MD, and was happy with their office. Apparently the office has a "wheelchair room", though I didn't get the exact details of whether he is able to stay in his chair etc.
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:45 PM on October 14, 2009

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