Understanding How a Family Dentist in Hattiesburg Cares for a Patient With Early Dementia

by | Jun 10, 2019 | Dental Care

When a close elderly relative begins experiencing cognitive problems, the adult children and spouse face a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. Among all the aspects they now must worry about, they want to be sure this person continues to have other forms of good health, including dental health. A Family Dentist in Hattiesburg cares for patients of all ages, including those who have a certain level of disability.

Professional Guidelines

The American Dental Association has provided guidelines for dentists who treat patients with dementia. The dentist and hygienist explain instructions to the patient as simply as possible. A family member can sit with this person to provide reassurance. The Alzheimer’s Society also provides guidelines for relatives regarding at-home dental care.

Daily Oral Hygiene

A family caregiver must take some responsibility for the patient’s oral hygiene if this person starts to forget. A daily routine may fall by the wayside for the most part, so hygiene aspects should be monitored by the home caregivers. Eventually, this man or woman may no longer be able to brush and floss teeth. If assisted living arrangements are still being avoided, nursing assistants or home companions can make sure these tasks are completed every day when the family cannot be home.

Dental Clinic Appointments

The relatives who bring the patient to a dental clinic can expect X-rays to be taken along with the direct evaluation of the person’s teeth and soft tissues in the mouth. At some point, a Family Dentist in Hattiesburg may need to perform treatments for the patient that are beyond the usual professional cleaning and checkups. The patient may need a cavity filled, root canal therapy or a tooth extracted, for example.

The Advantage of Sedation

Sedation may be advisable for patients who are confused and may become uncooperative. Although it’s difficult for family members to accept, in some ways, this person is like a very young child again. Some patients might even benefit from sedation during routine cleaning to help them stay calm. Anyone dealing with these situations may Contact Midtown Dental Clinic and ask any questions they have.

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