Caring for a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s is heartbreaking and presents many challenges. Basic routines, including simple hygiene, can become stressful and difficult. Cognitive decline and memory loss make it hard to maintain hygiene—including oral hygiene—and resistance or agitation from dementia patients can make medical and dental appointments much more difficult. Many patients may even forget to brush their teeth regularly or be unable to openly communicate about oral pain or changes in their oral health.
Despite these challenges, everyone deserves to receive regular oral care as it is essential to one’s overall health and well-being. Thankfully, Dr. Lichtenstein specializes in caring for patients with dementia and can work closely with you and your loved one to have a successful dental visit through sedation dentistry
Dr. Lichtenstein recognizes that it can be difficult for dementia patients to sit still in a dentist’s chair for various reasons. 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 make sudden movements that could cause injuries. They may also become physically and emotionally stressed. Sedation dentistry is an excellent solution if your loved one is combative, nervous or unwilling to cooperate.
Our practice offers oral and IV sedation and general anesthesia for patients who need dental treatment but have difficulty cooperating. Nitrous oxide is also considered safe for dementia patients. Dr. Lichtenstein is one of the extremely few dual-trained dentist anesthesiologists in the State of NJ who is Board Certified. This makes him uniquely qualified to treat individuals with a wide range of complex issues who could not be cared for easily or comfortably in the traditional dental office setting, including patients with memory loss or who can be combative or agitated. Dr. Lichtenstein recognizes that every patient has unique needs and will work with both the patient and their caretaker to determine a personalized treatment plan.
Preventative care is best. But it may be difficult for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia to communicate a dental problem. Caretakers need to look out for behaviors that may indicate a problem. Common signs are:
- 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
For over twenty years, Dr. Lichtenstein has provided attentive and compassionate care while ensuring the best results for his patient’s oral health. Additionally, his team has extensive experience working with caregivers and patients with dementia to create a smooth visit, from appointment booking and tracking to day of care and follow-up. Don’t let dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease stop your loved one from receiving the necessary dental care.
Dr. Lichtenstein’s office is in Holmdel, NJ, adjacent to Bayshore Hospital
Phone: (732) 739-3337
ADDRESS: 723 North Beers Street, Suite 1A Garden State Medical Arts Plaza Holmdel, NJ 07733