How does one get dental work done with Dementia?

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Bella33
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   Posted 6/15/2010 10:05 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello,

My mother needs to go to the dentist soon for a teeth cleaning and fillings. The last time I took her was over a year ago and it was quite a struggle to get x-rays taken of her cavities. We were there for 2 hours. Does anyone have experience with this from a loved one with Dementia who won't cooperate? This could apply to mammograms, vision test, etc where the patient need to follow directions.

Red_34
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   Posted 6/15/2010 10:29 AM (GMT -7)   
You can ask for light sedation. But that is sort of tricky because it might mess with her mind. My Gma could have the light sedation but general anesthesia was a major no-no. As for the other procedures, sedation wouldn't be an option (especially for a vision test lol). There might be some tests that will have to be overlooked because it might not be feasible.
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Bella33
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Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 478
   Posted 6/15/2010 10:31 AM (GMT -7)   
Yes sedation is out. My mom would be very disoriented and may not even open her mouth. My sister asked me this morning how people with Dementia get tested for things due this problem. I told her they probably don't and die from diseases that weren't detected. People don't die from Dementia, they die with it. As for teeth, they probably let it rot and fall out.

SnowyLynne
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   Posted 6/15/2010 3:16 PM (GMT -7)   
IMHO,let it go...............The stress would make her worse without anesthetic
SnowyLynne


Red_34
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   Posted 6/16/2010 4:23 AM (GMT -7)   
I agree with Lynne. It might just cause more trouble then it's worth. BUT if she starts having toothaches and/or tooth infections, you may not have a choice but to do the sedation to have her mouth taken care of. I had to do that choice too with my Gma and had to weigh the pros and cons. But if ever in the case she needs sedations, there is no need to fear about her opening her mouth. Dentists and oral surgeons have manual mouth openers.
 @--->--SHERRY--<---@
Moderator for Allergies/Asthma, Co-moderator for UC and Alzheimer's
~Left sided Uc-'92-Colazal(6 daily),6mp(50-100mgs),Bentyl, Prilosec,Biotin,Forvia,Pro-Bio**Unable to tolerate ALL mesalamines**~ Year round allergies-Singulair, Zyrtec~Secondary Reynauds Syndrome~Sacroiliitis~OA (hands and spine)-Tylonel Arthritis, Celebrex, Scoliosis, Dry eye - Restasis
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Bella33
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Total Posts : 478
   Posted 6/16/2010 9:29 AM (GMT -7)   
I saw my own dentist yesterday and asked him if he treated dementia patients and he said no. I then told him about the problems I had with my mom getting x-rays taken by her not biting on them consistently to get the shots. He told me he was getting a panoramic x-ray machine that would take the whole mouth in one shot. How cool is that? Well, I wouldn't want to burden him with my mom since he has no experience dealing with her condition. It's good to know they exist and maybe one day her dentist office will carry it also. For now, I just ask for patience from health care workers dealing with her.

That brings up a good question though, how much training does doctors get on treating dementia patients for non dementia related problems? With people living longer now and getting this disease left and right I think it's pretty valid to ask.

Sedation would not be good for my mom. I would never be able to get her home after wards. haha

Red_34
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   Posted 6/16/2010 9:55 AM (GMT -7)   
There are some family doctors that have extra training in geriatrics and dementia. My Gma had a gem of a family doctor that treated her with respect and dignity because he was trained to do so. If you look up geriatrics physicians, then more then likely they know how to deal with dementia patients.
 @--->--SHERRY--<---@
Moderator for Allergies/Asthma, Co-moderator for UC and Alzheimer's
~Left sided Uc-'92-Colazal(6 daily),6mp(50-100mgs),Bentyl, Prilosec,Biotin,Forvia,Pro-Bio**Unable to tolerate ALL mesalamines**~ Year round allergies-Singulair, Zyrtec~Secondary Reynauds Syndrome~Sacroiliitis~OA (hands and spine)-Tylonel Arthritis, Celebrex, Scoliosis, Dry eye - Restasis
To help Healingwell - click here: DONATE
 
 
 
 
 

 
 


SnowyLynne
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   Posted 6/16/2010 9:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Makes me happy I don't have teeth.I can eat just as well with dentures as without......
SnowyLynne


Bella33
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Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 478
   Posted 6/17/2010 9:30 AM (GMT -7)   
Either you eat soft food or you have tough gums. :-)

SnowyLynne
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   Posted 6/17/2010 11:39 AM (GMT -7)   
I can eat anything but nuts & chew ice,lol.........


SnowyLynne

Post Edited (SnowyLynne) : 7/3/2010 7:35:25 PM (GMT-6)


Howlyncat
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   Posted 7/3/2010 12:04 PM (GMT -7)   
I depending what food is n if im alone lol i mow down w/o dentures..
but they do say that you do not get the same amount of goodness outta food unless totally chewed
hmmmmm idk
lyn
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SnowyLynne
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   Posted 7/3/2010 6:37 PM (GMT -7)   
I wouldn't force the issue though......Why cause the person undo stress?
SnowyLynne


Bella33
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Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 478
   Posted 2/13/2014 11:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi guys,

So much has happened since I started this posting but here goes. We finally found a great oral surgeon and his wife is a dentist. Together they worked 3 hours on my mom under IV sedation to extract and get crowns and fillings for 14 teeth total. In the end my mom got partials and even though it's become a part-time job for me to just take care of them I am happy to do so. The down side to this was it took my mom 23 hours to wake up from the sedation but when she did she was back to her normal self. Normal as she can be anyways. This was 10 months ago and now my mom has 4 cavities on the teeth she has left.

The dentist is afraid to do sedation again because of the 20+ hours my mom slept and she's afraid it will be worse this time around. I left a message for her to call me back with a solution. I'm thinking.... Benadryl? It should only take about an hour to do the fillings so getting my mom sleepy is the ultimate goal so the dentist can do her thing ASAP. However if she really needs the IV sedation well, the short amount of time this requires would be way better than the 3 hour ordeal from last year so the risk should be way less.

My mom is doing so well with the partials and eating very well with them and she looks really pretty. I don't want that to go down the drain and have her get infected from the cavities if it goes down to the gum line. Any thoughts?

Bella33
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 478
   Posted 3/9/2014 9:27 PM (GMT -7)   
May I see this fact sheet?

TexasTornado Deb
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Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 3/12/2014 7:52 PM (GMT -7)   
My mother was able to get two partials even though she has dementia and no extra sedation needed. The dentist did have panoramic xrays. I think the most important part of going for any treatment or diagnostic tests is to keep your parent calm and reassure them it will be alright. My father had normal pressure hydrocephalus and had to have brain surgery and that was tough. I was shocked after he woke up that the hospital wanted me in ICU with him 24/7 as he was a handful!! My husband took off of work to help me since both parents had dementia and even after leaving ICU and him in a regular hospital room, he still required one of us there with him. When my husband had to go back to work, they even had babysitters that came up to the hospital to sit with him at night. Unfortunately, Dad had both Parkinsons and Alzheimers, so the brain surgery didn't really help. Dad actually did pass away due to dementia. He first began forgetting how to eat, then eventually, loss of sight, and how to breathe. It is an absolutely horrible way to die. His death certificate lists "senile dementia" as the cause of death. Once he forgot how to walk, the steep decline came. Then it was one thing right after another that his mind lost how to do. I've seen a lot of people die in old age, but this was by far the worse way to go.

I don't understand how anyone can say that a person doesn't die from dementia, as he sure did and it was absolutely a horrible way to go! I know of others who lost their parent due to dementia also; it definitely wasn't something unusual and they too spoke of how horrible the passing was.

Post Edited (TexasTornado Deb) : 3/12/2014 8:57:41 PM (GMT-6)


Bella33
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Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 478
   Posted 3/12/2014 9:28 PM (GMT -7)   
So sorry about your father. I can only imagine how hard it was for you to see him go downhill in front of your eyes My dad died of cancer so he was a bag of bones when he left us.

My mom cannot sit still not because of PD but because of her dementia. She's like a little kid. She looks around and bites down and won't keep her mouth open. She couldn't do the pan x-ray so we did the old fashion film kind and that lasted 2 hours. The good thing is she's good with her partials but she needs all the teeth she has left to hold them or else she will have to get full dentures and those will really be a pain although right now it's no picnic either.

You said your father had NPH but then you said he had Alzheimer's and PD? I'm confused.

jeffgamer
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Date Joined Aug 2015
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/24/2015 1:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Bella33!

We're in the same boat with my father-in-law. He believes he brushes his teeth twice a day, but, truth is...he NEVER does, except when my wife is there and has a "tooth-brushing party". He's got major periodontal disease now...dental hygienist looked in there and was very concerned...but he won't let anyone touch his bridgework (he doesn't even believe he has fake teeth). So we are trying to see if there is a sedation dentristry expert in our town (Miami) who will be willing to work with him. We don't think he can go on any longer without something being done...the consequences could be too severe.

Did you ever go back a second time? You wrote that you were thinking of using Benadryl...you wrote that the sedation option worked well except for the long time before your mom work up. I guess I'm looking for any update and for reassurance again from someone who's had to go through this that this is indeed the wisest move.

Bella33
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Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 478
   Posted 8/24/2015 1:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Jeffgamer,

My mom has lost about 3 teeth since the surgery 2 years ago so we kept getting her partials redone and that includes parts breaking off and not fitting right as her remaining teeth are shifting. This was has been extremely costly for us but to see her smile and be able to eat is a blessing for us.

The Benadryl works somewhat to relax so if your FIL can still follow directions then he may be more cooperating but not so much for long procedures. If and when you do find a good oral surgeon who will do sedation then the process should be easier. My mom is a petite woman so the drugs used were too much for her frame. That is something you need to keep in mind if and when you go ahead with it. Good luck! Always nice to be able to help so ask away if you have additional questions.

Bella33
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 478
   Posted 3/8/2016 12:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey guys,

I'm baaaack... The great husband and wife team that worked on my mom have decided that they no longer want to treat my mom due to liability reasons. So in other words they have decided that they made enough $ off of my mom's teeth and can now retire to the Bahamas. I was so angry at first because I felt like they abandoned us at time of need. My mom currently has 3 small cavities on her bottom teeth and I have been searching for a new dentist since Jan. We tried one who claimed to be super patient and 20 minutes later it was adios.

I now found another one who supposedly works with special needs cases so we'll see. My mom's family doc said no to general anesthesia but yes to sedation. I have no idea what the difference is. Anyhow... the dentist will try to do without and do the filings for my mom in 2 weeks and see how it goes. I will give her half a Benadryl again and hope for the best.

I wish medical professionals would be more willing to take care of people like my mom. One day they will grow old and have difficulties too. Karma will be my best revenge for these people.

Red_34
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Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23413
   Posted 3/8/2016 5:40 PM (GMT -7)   
General anesthesia can be very disorientating for some with AD while sedation is a "twilight sleep" and they don't do as heavy of medications as with general. With sedation, once the drug is stopped, the person wakes up.
SHERRY
Moderator-Allergies/Asthma, Alzheimer's, IBS, Co-moderator-UC
Diagnosed Left sided UC '92 - meds: Apriso, Remicade) Unable to tolerate MOST mesalamines* Currently in Remission, IBS, Diverticuliar Disease, Fibro, Sacroiilitis, Raynauds, OA, PA, Rosacea, Psoriasis, Dry eye syndrome and allergies controlled by Zyrtec

Bella33
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 478
   Posted 3/8/2016 5:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks. What drugs are considered sedation?

Red_34
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Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23413
   Posted 3/8/2016 6:05 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm not quite sure which medications they use for either general or sedation. I've never really asked to be honest Lol but you should ask to see if the meds will bother your mother.
SHERRY
Moderator-Allergies/Asthma, Alzheimer's, IBS, Co-moderator-UC
Diagnosed Left sided UC '92 - meds: Apriso, Remicade) Unable to tolerate MOST mesalamines* Currently in Remission, IBS, Diverticuliar Disease, Fibro, Sacroiilitis, Raynauds, OA, PA, Rosacea, Psoriasis, Dry eye syndrome and allergies controlled by Zyrtec

Bella33
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 478
   Posted 3/8/2016 6:21 PM (GMT -7)   
oh.. then I guess I'm still confused then. I always assumed it means the same thing.

Red_34
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Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23413
   Posted 3/8/2016 7:04 PM (GMT -7)   
No...sedation is a light sleep. General is a deeper sleep. They use different medications. I'm just not sure which med is used for each procedure. I know when I go in for my colonoscopies they use Versed and I am awake immediately after they are done. But when I've been under general, they use a combination of meds and I feel extremely groggy afterwards.
SHERRY
Moderator-Allergies/Asthma, Alzheimer's, IBS, Co-moderator-UC
Diagnosed Left sided UC '92 - meds: Apriso, Remicade) Unable to tolerate MOST mesalamines* Currently in Remission, IBS, Diverticuliar Disease, Fibro, Sacroiilitis, Raynauds, OA, PA, Rosacea, Psoriasis, Dry eye syndrome and allergies controlled by Zyrtec

Bella33
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 478
   Posted 3/8/2016 7:11 PM (GMT -7)   
My mom was on versed and fentanyl for her dental surgery and those were a powerful combination. Unless someone is getting operated on from the inside I really don't see why something so strong would be needed. My mom falls asleep from just sitting there for 5 minutes so Benadryl it is. Thanks.
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