The Best Tooth Replacement Method For People With Dementia

Posted on: 5 September 2018

If you're the caretaker for someone with dementia, their teeth may be one of the last things on your mind. However, it really shouldn't be that way. Taking care of the teeth of someone who has dementia is still important, and how you go about it is just as important. If that person is missing multiple teeth, here's the best way to have them replaced.

The Problem With Dentures

Dentures are a time-honored solution for replacing missing teeth, but they're not a very good choice for someone with dementia. Wearing dentures requires regular care and maintenance, physical coordination, and the memory to remember to put the dentures in every day and to take them out and clean them at night.

Unfortunately, in the later stages of dementia, people can also have difficulty with swallowing. It's fairly easy for someone with the later stages of dementia to choke. As a result, having a set of dentures in their mouth isn't the best idea. If they aren't put in properly, they can move around and may potentially trigger a gag reflex.

Permanent Solution

Getting a permanent solution for tooth loss is best, because there's no need to remove or put them in and the person won't ever really have to think about them. For this reason, dental implants are ideal.

Dental implants are set deep into the bone of the jaw, and the gums and jaw eventually seal around the implant and keep it solidly in place. This means that nothing more for dental care will be required than brushing and flossing. Whether they're capable of doing it themselves or you need to do it for them, this will make things much easier, and there's no added risk of choking.

What to Expect

Getting dental implants typically requires a few visits to the dentist. The first visit will be to perform an examination and to take measurements so that the dentist can order the new implants.

From there, a second appointment will be made to fit the metal part of the implant that goes into the jaw. For this, the person you're caring for will likely be placed under general anesthesia. This means you won't have to worry about keeping them calm and under control while the procedure is being performed.

After the implants have fully settled in and the bone has sealed around them, one final appointment will be made to put the dental crowns on top. Once those are in place, the entire process is complete.

Dental implants are the best choice for anyone who has dementia or another degenerative brain disease. Set up an appointment with a dentist such as Smile City for the person you're looking after and get them the help that they need in a way that won't pose any risk to their health.