Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

How do you handle the dentist?


My son goes through spells where he won’t brush his teeth - just like he won’t shower, changes his clothes, etc. during those times.

He has a lot of dental work that needs to be done. We have a great dentist, but she doesn’t want to do that much work on him because he starts to tremble when he’s in the chair and she said it’s just too hard on him.

He went to a sedation dentist a year or so ago and did one visit that took care of 1/3 of what he needed. They couldn’t have been nicer to him, but he “heard” the dentist say a couple things I’m sure he didn’t say, so I we haven’t been back - and he’s not exactly stable right now.

How do you guys handle dental care? And, I know that dental problems, especially infections, can affect your overall health. Some surgeons won’t work on you now if you have any known dental issues. That makes me think back to the member here who has a sister and the minocyclene (antibiotic) helped her a lot.

I’m wondering if my son might have an absess or something that’s making his current episode so hard to treat. I know I’m grabbing at straws - but that’s all I have to hold onto these days. I’ve also been reading about other infections - especially the ones related to cats since we’ve almost always had at least one - along with lots of other animals.


Well my fiancé had the same problem and he had this delusional belief that fluoride increases his schizophrenia. Only reason this man changed is because of me and love, honestly. Umm, try a logical and positive approach while maintaining compassionate of his experiences. The anesthesia can make you hear or see thing that aren’t there sometimes, same with morphine. Try someone who can anesthetize him again. Is he shaking out of fear or could it be due to a medical reaction to one of the components of medicine that dentists use? Personally I’m allergic to Caine family, so I can’t use local anesthesia because my body starts shaking and swelling up with blood vessels breaking even or the anesthesia won’t function.


He doesn’t have a bad reaction to novacaine, but he says it makes him tremble more.

He’s had shaky hands way before he was on any kind of psychiatric medicine.

But, even the sedation dentist said he really, really needed it. Said he was all kinds of shaky before they gave him anything.

The sedation was Haldol - didn’t even knock him out. He did fine, but said he remembered everything.
They also give you instructions about don’t leave them alone - even if you stop for gas on the way home - because they may not know what they’re doing. He was perfectly normal when we left.

He can take enough sedatives to knock out an elephant and walk around like it’s nothing.


@slw Haldol (Haloperidol) is antipsychotic used to treat SZ which my fiancé is on right now (injection lasts a month), I didn’t know it was also a sedative though. If he has tremors, you should take him to a neurologist and they could give him Cogentin for the tremors (shaking). If the shaking is psychological, a psychiatrist may also prescribe Cogentin. Also Benadryl may help him calm down, so try that.


I knew Haldol was an antipsychotic, but they also use it for sedation dentistry because for people who aren’t used to it, it also promotes amnesia - so, if you’re already anxious about going to the dentist, I guess you won’t remember anything that would make you more anxious.

His drug tolerance is so high a benadryl wouldn’t have much affect on him. I’ll keep the rest in mind though.


Interesting, I didn’t know that. For me it’s the same way too though, I’ve had several surgeries in the past and wake up with complete clarity and my memory intact. Benadryl doesn’t do anything either, but it helps my fiancé and my mom fall asleep very easily. I’ve taken up to 6 due to an allergic reaction, no dizziness or sleepiness for me. The only way Benadryl helps me fall asleep is intravenously along with a cocktail of Compazine and Toradol. I only go to the hospital for this due to cephalalgia (cluster headaches), which is literally the worst pain you could ever feel; take it from someone who has gone through cold blooded surgery as the Caines didn’t work, has had broken bones, cancer, hip, CT, & jaw surgery, and fibromyalgia. My neurologist referred me to see a pain management specialist as the only thing that alleviates me is that and morphine for 15 minutes. But really, try to get Cogentin from either a psychiatrist or neurologist for him, that way he can get some relief and maybe he’ll even feel better about going to the dentist. Is he allowed to drive with the shaking hands?


I couldn’t bring my son to the dentist when he was unstable. Only afterwards,and since I have his guardianship I stayed with him throughout the appointment (in spite of the fact that the office staff was not very pleased that I had the legal right to do so-they complied) Anyway by being right by his side throughout I could help with his fears and perceptions and keep the dentist on track as I know my son well enough to know when the dentist should stop or not…my son also has had a lot of teeth problems, and has lost 3. I took him through the whole process to get a partial made and he absolutely will not wear it, much like my schizo affective sister who I walked through the entire process to get a complete set of false teeth which took many months and many traumatic appointments and to this day (18 months after) she will not wear them no matter what. I give up on the dentures -but I do get my son in for a check up and cleaning every six months or at least I try to sometimes its only once a year, and then he will withstand fillings etc…now that he is stable it is not as bad of an issue but he is not good with brushing but does try to get them clean once a day for the most part and uses listerine.


Our dentist uses nitris oxide (laughing gas) and it seems to work well.


You know what?

I had an incisor pulled and replaced with an implant. My dentist made me a partial to wear because it’s a long process and she didn’t want me to lose the space, plus she thought I would look bad walking around missing a visible tooth.

I hated that partial and never got used to wearing it. I think I tried it for a few days, but you have to take it out to eat, my tongue would hit it in the roof of my mouth when I talked - I don’t even know where it went. Last I remembered, I tossed it in the car’s glove compartment & forgot about it.

I don’t blame them about those partials. They’re awful.

Our dentist wouldn’t have a problem with me sitting back there. I’ve just been trying to let him do some things independently.


He’d probably love that, then want to take the whole tank home.


yep, after the whole thing of getting the partial was over and in spite of the fact that he asked to get a partial…I realized it was too uncomfortable and complicated for him to adapt to and you’re not the first person I have heard say they are not pleasant.


My son refuses to go to the dentist. The last time he went was 2-1/2 yrs ago. I’ve made him two appointments since then, gave him a check already made out to the dentist, and both times he ditched the appointment and we got charged for a missed appt.

A couple of weeks ago I asked him to show me his teeth ---- I could see loads of plaque and told him this, to which he responded “well it protects me” :confused: I just can’t talk him into it and it worries me.

@slw and @Mom2 – my son would love a tank of that nitris oxide too lol. I will have to try to entice him with that :slight_smile:


It is $75 a visit but is worth every dollar. I had these ol amalgam fillings replaced and had a really bad experience with a crown one time. I put off going back to do the other side for ten years. When I finally went in because the dentist told me they were leaking, I asked for it also and let me tell you I didn’t feel a thing. It probably destroys brain cells but if you have high anxiety I would suggest it. I try to take my son every six months for cleaning but he does have to be somewhat stable.