Dental Second Opinion

A week ago I left voice mail for mom’s Island dentist, Susan. She called back Wednesday night. On top of being insightful in regards to her long term patient, my mama, dementia, and the point on the matrix where excessive care is unwarranted, she is a delight to chat with. We talked for over 2 hours.

She related the following regarding mom’s history:

  • Susan:
    • Repaired a broken tooth after dad died in 2013.
    • Repaired  a broken tooth in 2015.
    • On 5/16/16 mom called Susan to say she’d lost a filling. Susan called her back on the 16th, 17th, and 18th, leaving voice mail each time.
    • On the 5/19/16 mom wandered into Susan’s office very confused, asking how to get to Dr. G’s office. 
    • Has chart notes showing mom broke another tooth May of 2016. This could be the tooth that mom reported had lost a filing.
    • Did a crown on mom’s lower left July 2016, and 
    • Did a crown on mom’s upper right August 2016.
    • Said mom’s only cleaning since 2010 was in 2016.
    • Noticed over the years that mom wasn’t brushing as well as she used to.
Mom must crack open walnuts with her teeth.
Susan likes the idea of mom using an electric toothbrush, but not a Sonicare. It’s too complicated for someone with dementia. Mom doesn’t need something that will massage her gums, or with too many buttons, and choices. She told me what to buy on Amazon. Further, Susan said putting mom through root planing was ridiculous, that mom’s jaw structure is good, and it takes years for bone to deteriorate. In essence, Susan said mom’s teeth will outlive her. and deep cleaning isn’t going to cure the fact that mom can no longer adequately brush her teeth. She suggested that mom go in for de-plaquing every 3-4 months.  Susan wrote a prescription for a paint-on fluoride, that I’ll pick up this weekend.

I called mom’s current dentist, told them the new plan, and got zero push back.

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