Introduction / Dental Treatment

An introduction:
I’m 79, mild idiopathic Parkinson’s diagnosed a year ago with symptoms greatly reduced by the medication. I had quite a while to come to terms with PD, with GP’s ‘possibly’, ‘probably’ and ‘let’s confirm it’ and consultant’s ‘yes, but it ain’t bad’.

For exercise I walk around ½ mile to 1½ mile most days, and limitations are mainly to do with arthritic knees and heart disease (had bypass procedures) not PD. I play ukulele and sing, not very well, but I never did! The meds did seem to help with breath and saliva control. But one particular problem is to do with dental treatment. I recently had some work done on a cracked tooth, which took a bit longer than simple procedures, and I have a longer procedure coming up.

In the laid-right-back position of a modern dental chair I found it quite stressful using my tongue to stop any dentist’s flushing water or my saliva from going into my windpipe. To deal with what felt like a bit of fluid starting to escape past my tongue (or possibly a drip from the nasal cavity) I was making a kind of strangulated swallow from the back of my tongue, with my mouth open. Managing this was much easier in the past.

I have an excellent dentist, trained only to use this type of chair and ‘too old to attempt to modify the working position’ even if the chair allowed it. I have another procedure late tomorrow morning.

I should have come into this forum before now but I have tended to push difficulties to the back of my mind, and maybe two recent Covid infections (only symptom fatigue) may have contributed. But if anyone else might have had a similar experience I would appreciate any last minute comments or suggestions.

Hello Jim1943 and welcome to the forum. I’m sorry to hear of your dental treatment problem. I’m afraid I can’t help. I have difficulty with saliva control and my dentist just works with the chair only slightly reclined and it has solved the problem. I was a bit surprised to read the chair doesn’t allow for a change of position, I thought all modern chairs did. I do hope someone can come forward with a solution for you, if I should get a light bulb moment I will let you know.