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A 70-year-old woman with dementia and multiple carious lesions: A complicated decision-pathway

Journal of Evidence Based Dental Practice
Elsevier - Mosby
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1067/med.2003.21
  • Medicine


Abstract Case Presentation A 70-year-old woman with dementia was enrolled in the Dental Education in Care of Persons with Disability (DECOD) program at the University of Washington in October 2000. Her chief complaint, as listed by her husband, was that she had “at least 6 cavities diagnosed by her previous dentist, who was unable to obtain x-rays due to the her restlessness.” There was no indication that the patient was experiencing any acute symptoms of pain or infection of dental origin. Her disability was described by her physicians as a “motor neuron variant of frontotemporal dementia which results in virtual loss of speech, limited comprehension, and restlessness.” The previous dentist recommended that she would need to be well sedated, although she had tolerated dental prophylaxes by the hygienist at the nursing home several months ago. A health history indicated that the patient's vocabulary was reduced to virtually only “yes” or “no” and that these responses were unreliable. She required assistance for all activities of daily living and must be “dressed, fed, bathed, and is incontinent.” The length of her disability was described as “about 1 ½ years.” J Evid Base Dent Pract 2003;3:39-51

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