Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

The mentally Ill and the Dentist

For what it’s worth, the deep gum cleanings are horrible.

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Beats having a graph done. I can tell you that for sure. My dentist has massage chairs and they are super nice. The don’t scold you like the old school dentists. This is on the list for my son as well.

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I was thinking of you today Jan, you are so good at grounding me.

I read this quote in a book last night - supposedly by author unknown, my husband thinks its a depressing line, it kind of made me feel better.

“Giving up doesn’t always mean you are weak, sometimes it means that you are strong enough to let go”.


@hope That’s a good quote and isn’t that one of the hardest things to do - to just let life flow the way it will. This is very challenging for me as I like things to be in order and go the way I think they should.

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I’ve been lucky enough to keep my son on our medical & dental insurance, but we still didn’t get him to the dentist for years.

Our family dentist understands his issues, but was convinced he needed sedation dentistry due to his anxiety levels - not his psychosis.

We tried it. It was expensive & they couldn’t have been nicer to him, but he has some issues around them - he thought they said inappropriate things to him. I’m very sure they didn’t, but we didn’t return.

That left him with 2/3 of the work still being done and another 2 year break.

This time, we went to our local dentistry school, to the faculty department. They recommend it for anyone who has major anxiety or fear of the dentist. His dentist is a professor there. He’s very low key and quiet, but treats my son like he’s treat any other patient. Just very calm.

He’s very aware of the issue. I know this not because he makes a big deal about it, but because just one time when my son went back to get an X-ray, he asked how he was doing on his meds because he could see there was some increase in stability compared to the previous month’s visit.

He talks to him for a few minutes each visit about the importance of brushing, etc. so we don’t have to redo all this work.

So, we’ve been working on his teeth for about a year and a half now with a visit every month or two. He’s had lots of fillings, a root canal and two extractions. He’s got 3 little fillings to go plus a crown for the root canal & he’ll be done for now.

I asked him if he wanted to go back to our family dentist then or sick with this dentist, and he said he’d keep going here. That means he likes the guy because it takes us 30-40 minutes to get there, 20 minutes on average to get a space in the parking deck, then we have to walk 2-3 blocks on crowded city streets to get to the office. That would make me put off going to the dentist.

That’s been our experience lately. So, perhaps, they have something similar there? The rates are excellent too.

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@slw, you Re very lucky your son is willing to go and limes the dentist too. I doubt my daughter will agree to sedation since she would think someone was messing with her brain. Since I do not have a conservatorship, my hands are tied.

We have a deep cleaning scheduled next week. I wonder if we should just do a rwgulsr cleaning first to built up trust without novicane. It is so hard trying to figure all of this out.

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I’d do the regular cleaning first.

For me, the novicane shots are the worst thing - the next worst are the x-rays if they use those little square things they put in your mouth.

Before he went to the new dentist, I did a little searching & there is some special training for dentists to prepare them for working with patients with psychotic disorders. The fact that they will be working in such close contact for a relatively long time, it can cause some problems.

I liked this one:

Especially, these parts:

Explain procedures and their rationale, and obtain patient’s permission before doing each procedure.

For some patients, explanation and permission may be advisable even for actions such as lowering the
back of the dental chair.

It is much more important that the patient return for the next appointment than it is to complete a set
amount of dental work at the first appointment.

Schedule short, simple procedures first to give the patient a good experience; work up to more difficult
procedures as the patient can tolerate them.

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In general it is difficult to find a good dentist. My son needed a lot of work so our dentist prioritised the work needing to be done so we chewed through it once every month. We were lucky that our dentist knew my son as a kid and was very understanding as well very nice to my son.
It is worth getting the dental work done xx

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Yes dental hygiene is certainly a problem for those of us who are severely mentally ill. I have hospital records dating back to the early 80s describing my poor dental hygiene.
The truth is on a day to day basis It’ll not cross my mind to brush my teeth.Poor dental hygiene combined with teeth grinding , an odd bite and irregular trips to the dentist means I have many teeth missing.

Nowadays since moving near to my stepdaughter she makes sure I see a dentist every 3 months. She or my granddaughters accompany me.