Most people are now keeping their natural teeth into older age. As people are living longer, more people are living with dementia. People living with dementia often experience dental problems like toothache, decay, infections, missing teeth and problems with chewing. It can be difficult to treat these conditions if someone is unwell or anxious about dental treatment.
People with early dementia can make their own decisions about treatment but this can get harder as dementia progresses. When somebody is unable to make their own decisions, healthcare professionals have to figure out what is thought to be best for the patient. It is important that the right choice about dental treatment is made with or for each person. Research is needed to help patients, dentists and family or carers to make these difficult decisions together.