My disabled cousin, who has significant dementia, AD suspected, hasn't had regular dental care in a while of her own choosing. She entered AL a week ago. She doesn't complain of any pain or problems with chewing, but I have a feeling the dentist is going to say she needs extensive dental work. She is on Medicare for the AL, but I'm not sure if that also covers dental bills. If not, she only gets $66.00 per month. The rest goes to the AL facility. ( She was already on regular total Disability for Arthritis when the dementia struck her. She has Medicare, but I don't think that covers dental.)

I'm not sure of her health prognosis as this point, but I want to know what I should keep in mind when the dentist suggests certain services which she cannot afford. I'm her POA.

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That's a good point. She doesn't have a lot of patience and has never liked dentists. I think I'm going to see what the dentist says about cavities. If they can be filled, then take the worst ones first. And pay as we go, while I try to get her some financial assistance on the dental costs.

I don't think she would tolerate the time and discomfort of implants, dentures, etc., especially if she's eating fine and has no pain.

Since your cousin's dementia is "significant" will she be able to sit in a dentist's chair for an hour, maybe more, on a regular basis since you said she needs extensive dental work?

My dad's dementia was caused by brain swelling relating to end stage liver disease. He had a partial plate but at the NH it got lost or broken, we don't really know what happened to it. My dad wasn't able to sit in a dentist's chair. I very much wanted him to have his teeth replaced but he was at a stage in his life where it was way too much money and way too difficult logistically.

If your cousin isn't complaining about dental pain I wonder about the extent of the services she needs.

Oh! And my dentist offers a financing plan. It's a total rip-off but what choice does someone have if they're in need of dental services?

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