Going to the dentist can be daunting for anyone, particularly if they have come to associate the dentist with discomfort or pain. Some people with epilepsy may experience additional anxieties about going to the dentist related to having seizures. This is particularly the case if their seizures are not well controlled, or they have had a bad experience in the past.
However, going to the dentist does not need to be an unpleasant experience. Finding the right dentist for your situation is half the battle. Dentists will vary in their knowledge of and experience with epilepsy and seizure disorders. If you are not already regularly attending a dentist, it is worth discussing your options with your treating neurologist and/or GP, who will have the best knowledge about your situation.
Many dentists will happily treat someone who is not seizure-free, although it is important to provide them with as much information as possible so they can treat you accordingly, or refer you elsewhere if necessary. The dentist may want to know about:
- The nature, frequency and pattern of your seizures
- Your seizure triggers
- Any medications you currently take (to avoid drug interactions)
- Your Epilepsy Management Plan, if you have one.
If you are seizure free, it is still important to tell the dentist that you have epilepsy, and let them know about any medications you take. This will help the dentist make the right decisions about your treatment and manage possible risks. For example, some antifungal agents and antibiotics commonly prescribed by dentists can interact with AEDs anti-epileptic drugs, which can jeopardise seizure control.