Sedation dentistry is a safe and effective way for your loved one to receive the dental care they may not otherwise be able to get.
Going to the dentist can be both scary and painful for geriatric patients, especially when the patient has Alzheimer’s or dementia preventing their ability to understand or remember what is happening to them.
When an Alzheimer’s patient also has arthritis or fibromyalgia, it can be even more difficult for them to sit still in the dentist’s chair for long periods. At The Dental Anesthesia Center, we offer oral sedation dentistry to make your loved one’s dental experience less stressful.
Sedation dentistry for such patients helps prevent physical and emotional distress.
Understanding Alzheimer’s and Dementia
To safely and effectively provide dental care to patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia, it is essential to understand what they are. The terms “Alzheimer’s” and “dementia” are often used as though they are the same thing. While they are related, there are notable differences between the two. Dementia is a broad term for a person’s changes in memory, reasoning, or thinking. There are several possible causes of dementia and Alzheimer’s is one.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disease that destroys memory and other essential mental functions. It is the most common cause of dementia, making up 60% to 80% of all dementia cases. It is not a normal part of the aging process; instead, it is a brain disease and will progressively get worse.
There are a number of reasons why receiving dental care can be difficult for patients with Alzheimer’s or Dementia. During a dental procedure, patients with Alzheimer’s or Dementia can fade in and out of lucid moments and may become frightened or disoriented during their treatment. As a result, they may not be able to sit still and may make sudden movements that could cause injuries.
At The Dental Anesthesia Center, we offer both oral and IV sedation for patients who need dental treatment but have a difficult time cooperating. Sedation dentistry for these patients helps prevent physical and emotional distress.
Alzheimer’s & Dementia Dental Care in St. Louis
Alzheimer’s disease often poses unique challenges to maintaining dental health. As it progresses, a person may forget when and how to brush their teeth. This can jeopardize their oral health and also cause difficulties with chewing, digesting, and with getting the proper nutrition.
If you are a caretaker for a person with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, our experienced and compassionate dental team is able to help you get them the dental care they need. We work hard to make our patients feel at ease by providing exceptional patient care in a relaxed, convenient atmosphere.
Signs of Dental Problems with Alzheimer’s Patients
Those with Alzheimer’s often cannot communicate a dental problem. As their caretaker, it’s important to look out for behaviors that may indicate a problem. Some of the most common behaviors to watch for include:
- Refusal to eat hard or cold foods
- Not wanting to put dentures in
- Increased moaning, irritability, or shouting
- Unusual aggressive behavior
- Frequent pulling at the mouth or face
While these may be signs of other symptoms, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. But keeping in mind that these may be symptoms of dental problems might help in determining where their added pain or discomfort is coming from.
Alzheimer’s Dental Care Appointment
We welcome Alzheimer’s patients and all other special needs patients to The Dental Anesthesia Center. We are a state-of-the-art anesthesia and dental facility. Dr. Michael J. Hoffmann and Dr. Sean M. Thoms provide dental services accompanied by Deep Sedation and General Anesthesia.
If you are a caretaker for a person with Alzheimer’s or dementia, our experienced and compassionate dental team can help you get them the dental care they need. We work hard to make our patients feel at ease by providing exceptional patient care in a relaxed, convenient atmosphere. Call our office today to schedule an appointment at (314) 862-7844.