Mom and the Dentist

Q: Help- my mom’s dentist wants to use a divan to keep my mom quiet during the next appointment.  I don’t want to have a drugged mom.  Any suggestions? -George P. Casals 

A: That is a challenging question. I am the last person to advise to use a lot of ativan.  However, having now several frail elders with dementia who have rotten teeth causing pain, infection from poor dental hygeine.  Regular dental care is very important.  You could try to use Tylenol prior, or sometimes a little Gabapentin 50-100 mg ( this is an off label use), but I use a little Ativan 0.5 mg to allow the dentist to give the needed care.  In that situation, someone would need to stay with her until the medication wears off.

I would never advise that the Ativan would be given on an ongoing basis, for “anxiety” or sleep” or “agitation”.  That is a topic for another day.