Mom has dementia and needs to see a dentist soon. Any advice? - AgingCare.com

Mom has dementia and needs to see a dentist soon. Any advice?

Follow
Share

I should of done it sooner but it made me so nervous back then she was so outspoken. Now she just hums, will say a word now and then but she does motion that it hurts her to have her teeth brushed.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
28

Answers

Show:
IKORWPA, that is amazing information. Thanks so much for letting us know that many pediatric dentists work with special needs people. They may have the skills to help our elders who no longer understand why they must go through this process.

I recently interviewed a dentist for an article that agingcare will have online soon.
He had some ideas that went as far as sedating the elder once they get to the dentist. Unfortunately, none of these options helps those who have problems getting our loved ones to the dentist in the first place.

Anyway, IKORWPA's post is one more reason why a meeting of minds such as occurs in this community is such a vital part of the caregiving process.

Keep posting, my friends!
Carol
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Many pediatric dentists are also special needs dentists. If your mom in on assisted living, memory care or skilled nursing the can likely offer options many have dentists who visit. Call all the pediatric dentists in your area and ask of the can do special needs dentistry. They can direct you and make reconditions. In our area we work through Children's hospital to find the right dentist and solution for our clients. I hope this helps,
Helpful Answer (7)
Report

Dentist who are familiar with working with patients who have dementia understand about the illness. Your only worry is getting your Mom to that dentist. Let him or her handle everything.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Most nursing homes have dentists who come in every so often to see patients. That may be a good source of referral for one who has the capacity to treat dementia patients. Also, your local area agency on aging may keep a list of such dentists.

We found that getting mom a very simple electric toothbrush makes it much easier for her to brush.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

If she will willingly go out just take her. If she is not willing tell her you are going for ice cream and stop at the dentist on the way. not very honest but you gotta do what you gotta do. warn the dentist ahead of time and maybe ask for a very small dose of a sedative to give before you go. They may want her to take an antibiotic before treatment. Don't delay as if it is a bad infection it can spread into the bone and then she is really in trouble.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

As a dental hygienist, all are great comments. I reallly liked the ice cream idea.
YES, tell the dentist ahead so they will allow extra time for her, Will she rinse her mouth? Try an alcohol free mouthwash with fluoride...there are dentists that love older patients..we just need to know they are coming....all the advise above are excellent. A clean mouth is very important to keeping down infections in the body: eg, pneumonia, heart issues, etc
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I take my mom to the dentist once a month for a teeth cleaning to be proactive with her dental health. We do not have dental insurance. I make it a priority expense. I continued on with the dentist she was seeing previously.

We are six years into diagnosis (which means I've been in charge for the last six years) and she has a beautiful smile, no cavities. She visits their office, sits in their chair, and they make a big fuss over her. She is a beautiful woman inside and out. I would never consider discontinuing her dental care because she has a terminal illness.

My husband and I insist on her brushing her teeth everyday at home and we help her as needed. My mom lives with us. We do not only take her to the dentist. We take her out all the time. If you do it, she's be accustomed to it. It is not easy but it is essential (in my opinion).
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I have been struggling with this same problem. We took my mother to a dentist and they were very uncomfortable and kind of rude. Sad. She just likes to talk! They acted like she was violent or something and she is not. Our society needs to address this issue. Nursing home patients and elderly with dementia need dental care too! My mother still has her own teeth but I'm concerned that she will start having problems. I will check out the pediatric dentists, good idea!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

That was a concern of mine this past year and I found a dentist hat she used to go to who is amazing with her. The key is their knowledge of working with patients who need kid gloves. Ask around or a dental referral service. Pediatric or even geriatric dentists are a good idea. I know we have it set up so her visits are short. If need be there is sedation (coordinated with her doctor) for a longer or more complicated session. So far her visits have been positive and easy.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I agree that addressing dental problems in a person with a terminal illness should be limited to relieving pain. I would consult with the dentist ahead of the visit to ensure that his/her goals are in line with my mother's best interests - eliminating pain while causing the least possible anxiety - rather than 'fixing' problem in her mouth.
Of course it depends upon the individual, but the stress of a dentist visit on a person with advanced dementia could be extreme.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions