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It is best to maintain the same dentist to keep familiarity, this can be difficult when somebody moves into a care facility. Let the dental practice and all staff involved know that the person has dementia and try to arrange a time when the practice is less busy (i.e. first patient after lunch break).  

Ensure a carer or family member is present during the visit and ask the dental team to write down any advice given to take home. Don’t be afraid to ask the dentist for more information or if there is someone else who may have more time to talk to you about the areas discussed. Ask your dentist when it would be best to return, some dentist will like to review patients with a greater need every three months. Others will request only one visit a year for a patient with stable oral health. 

A patient with full dentures should still visit the dentist once a year to check their soft tissues and for of any dentures, they may have. It may become difficult for someone to attend their regular dental practice as their disease progresses. Home visits or special care dentistry may be another option when the need arises. If treatment is required several options can be explored, complicated and long interventions may be difficult to manage in a high street dental practice under local anaesthetic. 

Options for sedation or general anaesthetic may be more suitable, these can be discussed with your dental professionals. When a person loses the capacity to make an informed decision about their care a decision may need to be made on their behalf. If a person has a named person (power of attorney) then the treatment options should be fully explained to them. If no one has been appointed to make these decisions then an assessment may need to be done and a ‘best interest’ decision made. (des to expand)