Dental Care for Older Adults
BURLINGTON, MA, Nov 7, 2014?Presenting to over 200 attendees at the November 2014 Updates in Contemporary Dentistry meeting, Susan Calderbank, DMD, spoke about geriatric dentistry and the importance of serving this growing population of patients
Dr. Calderbank proposed that demographic change is one of the biggest challenges facing dentistry. With the birthrate dropping and life expectancy rising, older adults make up one of the fastest growing segments of the world population. With those factors in mind, dental professionals should make it a priority to consider the healthcare needs of the aging population.
Caries Risk Factors for Older Adults
Dr. Calderbank urged the attendees to be aware of and address the caries risk factors faced by older adults, including:
- Reduced salivary flow (dry mouth)
- Reduced frequency and effectiveness of oral self-care
- Presence of removal partial dentures
- Heavy plaque deposits
- Increased consumption of sugar and simple carbohydrates
Focus on Prevention
Geriatric dentistry involves the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of problems associated with normal aging and age-related diseases. Dr. Calderbank noted that dental care for older adults should focus on prevention and that it often requires an interdisciplinary team of health care professionals.
In an interview with Dental Learning after her presentation, Dr. Calderbank shared her preferred products to help provide care for geriatric patients. She uses Colgate?s preventative line, including: PreviDent Varnish for its efficacy in handling hypersensitivity; PreviDent 5000 Booster Plus for high caries risk patients; PreviDent Rinse for patients who have difficulty brushing; and Colgate Cavity Protection Toothpaste as a go-to dentifrice.