- Determine the patient's stage of Alzheimer's disease.
- It is important to assess a patient’s capacity to consent. Identify a legal guardian/caretaker if necessary.
- Document available support networks.
- If removable prostheses are fabricated, be sure to label them with the patient’s name. Also, keep original casts in order to fabricate additional prostheses, as these patients tend to misplace items.
- Avoid removable prosthesis in patients with poor oral hygiene, and/or dexterity difficulties.
- Be aware of oral dryness.
- In case of swallowing difficulties, place the patient in a slightly more upright position. Use a rubber dam and high evacuation suctioning.
- Address patient’s ability to perform oral health care independently.
- Recognize that patients’ aggressive and even threatening behavior is part of the disease and not personal.
- Aggression and agitation may be associated with pain.
- Approach patients in a non-threatening way. Stress, fear and embarrassment may stimulate aggressive behavior in a patient.
- Apply a tell-show-do approach. Determine each patient’s communication skills and avoid an infantilized approach.
- Avoid introducing novel oral hygiene devices or methods.
- Recognize that patients’ ability to seek outpatient dental care diminishes over time.
- Recognize that a patient’s cooperation will diminish over time.
- Try to perform as much oral health care as possible during the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Lack of appropriate spatial perceptions may result in inability to carefully sit down or stand up from a dental chair (“transferring” difficulties).
- Schedule short appointments.
- Recognize possible abuse and neglect.
| Drugs/ drug|
See Medical Complexity Status for more information.