Quintessence Int 32 (2001), No. 3 (01.03.2001)
The patient with Alzheimer's disease
Gitto, Christina A. / Moroni, Michael J. / Terezhalmy, Geza T. / Sandu, Satinderpal
Victims of Alzheimer's disease show a gradual and steady deterioration in memory, orientation, emotional stability, language capacity, abstract thinking, motor skills, and, ultimately, self care. Cognitive and motor deficits are accompanied by a gradual inabiltiy to perform adequate oral hygiene. Alzheimer's disease also interferes with the patient's ability to communicate dental symptoms of pain or dysfunction, and progressive deterioration of cognition interferes with the patient's ability to tolerate most therapeutic interventions. When treating patient's with Alzheimer's disease, oral health care providers must develop timely, preventive, and therapeutic strategies compatible with the patient's physical and cognitive ability to undergo and respond to dental care. They should strive to achieve those goals with the same ethical, moral, and professional standards of care as may be appropriate in the management of any other patient.