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Any suggestions on seeing a dentist with severe COPD and emphysema?

In stage 4 with very difficult breathing. Can't be sedated. I always have anxiety going anyways but now I worry the stress will cause an exacerbation. Are there dentists that will help with COPD patients?

  1. You must take care of your teeth and gums. Infections from bad teeth can lead to respiratory infections. I am between stage 3-4 COPD and also have Bronchiectasis. I wear oxygen and I take 2 puffs of my rescue inhaler before going in to the office. Also let them know reclining back makes mucus backup so you may need to cough. If it is a long appointment have them sit you up periodically so you can clear your lungs. The anxiety of going is the hardest part.

    1. , thanks for sharing your experience with us. It sounds like you are really taking your treatment seriously, and you have a good handle on some of the things that help you to stay comfortable. I hope to hear from you again soon! If you feel like sharing, we would love to know how you have been feeling. ~Melanie (team member)

  2. Hi , and thanks for your post. This is a great question and I see my colleague, Jeff ( ), has already responded with his own personal experience.

    I agree with what Jeff has said. Over the years, I, too, have had more procedures than I ever thought I would in life. For each one (surgery, diagnostic radiologic studies, dental work, dental surgery, etc), I have been able to speak with the doctors, dentists, anesthesiologists, nurses and anyone else who was rendering care. Without exception, we were able to collaborate on the best position for me (breathing wise), that would not compromise the performance of the procedure.

    I would think you should be able to discuss your concerns with the dentist who will be working with you. Between the two of you, I would hope all your concerns will be answered and you can proceed to have the dental work done successfully.

    What do you think?
    Leon (site moderator COPD.net)

    1. Hello I totally understand as I have stage 4 as well. It can be scary to go out, let alone to somewhere your not comfortable. My dentist allows me to sit up a little higher as I didn't like my feet above my head. We came up with a system where I would tap on his arm, and that meant stop and raise me up to rest. Once I educated them of my needs they were very accommodating to me. Then once you conquer this hurdle, it gets easier the next time. Keep stacking little victories and your anxiety becomes less. It's best to check with your Doctor to see if he has any suggestions for you. Hope things start going better for you. Jeff (Team member)

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