As we grow older, our healthcare needs begin to change, and the same can be said for our dental care needs. If you are caring for a senior parent and need to find a new dentist to coordinate care for him or her, here are a few things you should consider. With a bit of research, you can find a dentist that both you and your parent feel comfortable with.
Experience With Dementia Patients
If your parent has dementia, or if you have a family history of dementia, it's a good idea to look for a dentist with experience helping patients with this condition. Sometimes, dementia patients have difficulty following simple commands the dentist might make, which can make caring for your parent's teeth and gums more difficult. A dentist with experience will be able to help make your parent feel more comfortable, and can take the time needed to properly examine his or her mouth. Ask how much experience the dentist has and what methods he or she uses with dementia patients.
Assistance With Dental Coverage
Depending on your parent's insurance, he or she may have some type of coverage for dental services. Medicare Part A, for example, covers some dental care, but typically only in a hospital setting or for some emergency procedures. If you are concerned about the costs of dental care, ask about financing and financial aid options before settling on a dentist. Some practices work closely with local charities and foundations to provide discounts on dental care, and the best dentist will help you to find a way to get your parent's dental work covered as much as possible.
Managing Fears About Dental Care
If your parent has not visited a dentist in many years, you may find that it's because your parent has anxiety or fears about visiting the dentist. These feelings can be even more intense if he or she has trouble recognizing or understanding surroundings. Look for a dentist who offers sedation dentistry and other relaxing options during treatments and exams to help manage stress and anxiety. You can even ask the dentist to let you and your parent do a dry run of a visit so he or she can become familiar with the dentist's office before getting in the exam chair.
It's important to find a dentist, like Centre Family Dentistry, you both feel comfortable with, so take your time as you research to make sure you've chosen the best care provider for your loved one.