matel2765819 Asked November 2012

Should my mother with dementia risk having her teeth pulled under anesthesia ?

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What benefit would this be at her age?

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My mother with dementia recently had a tooth break off. She was put under general anesthesia to remove the rest of the tooth because of her aversion to needles and her anxiety. After the procedure, her dementia was worse and she still hasn't rebounded to her pre-procedure cognitive status. In the future, if at all possible, we will avoid general anesthesia for Mother and opt for something else or completely avoid elective procedures that require putting her under.
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Bhenson Nov 2012
Jeanne is right on this one. Anethesia plays havoc with dementia and can make it worse then it was. If she's in no pain, then I would have to think twice about removing the teeth. Of course, on the other hand, bad teeth can make someone very sick. I somewhat disagree with my good friend Jeanne on how many times one should go under. "If" she has to go under for this, I would only want to do it once to be honest. What about giving her something that makes her loopy but doesn't put her to sleep? I've had that and remembered nothing afterward. That might be preferable to complete anethesia. Hope it works out for you.
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jeannegibbs Nov 2012
Are the teeth bothering her? Anesthesia and dementia don't play nice together, I'm afraid. I would only consider this after consulting the doctor who is treating her dementia and discussing the specific type of anesthesia to be used. And then I'd be concerned about so many at once -- not that more episodes of anesthesia sounds like a good idea.

What is the reason for extracting these teeth? What is the risk if this isn't done?
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igloo572 Nov 2012
My mom had extensive dental work done in her late 80's & early 90's and her dentist would only do it one section at a time with teeth divided into 3 sections (left, right, center) upper and lower. With a 4 - 6 weeks downtime between extractions or implants.She also had to have a letter of OK from her gerontologist done annually in her dental file too. 6 extractions at 1 time sounds risky to me at any age - our son had to have 4 extractions done due to crowding and making his orthodontics work and they would only do 1 side at a time, with 4 weeks down time and this is a healthy tween.
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