Yes, Geriatric Dentistry is Necessary
The aging population is on the rise due to increased life expectancies, leading to a growing need for specialized dental care for seniors. Geriatric dentistry, catered to elderly patients, addresses specific oral health concerns associated with age-related diseases. To grasp the significance of these dental professionals, let’s explore what makes their role pivotal.
Understanding Geriatric Dentistry
Geriatric dentistry revolves around providing comprehensive oral care to older individuals. Many of these patients require diagnosis, management, prevention, and treatment of dental issues intertwined with age-related health conditions. Studies reveal that over half of dental patients aged 60 or above are on medications or medically compromised. Elderly patients often exhibit heightened sensitivity to dental medications, experiencing conditions like root and coronal caries, dry mouth (xerostomia), and periodontitis.
The U.S. Surgeon General has highlighted a “silent epidemic” of significant dental health issues among older Americans. Considering many of these patients face cognitive and physical challenges that complicate treatment, specialized dental care for the elderly becomes imperative.
The Significance of Specialized Care
The elderly population deal with unique problems every day. Several factors underscore the importance of specialized dental care for the elderly:
- Potential Drug Interactions: Elderly patients often take multiple medications, elevating the risk of drug interactions and reactions. Geriatric-focused dental professionals ensure precautions to safeguard these patients’ well-being.
- Compassion and Adaptability: Seniors may have sensory or cognitive impairments, making dental treatment and communication complex. Geriatric dentists accommodate these challenges, minimizing distractions during treatment and offering comforting stimuli like televisions or radios.
- Patient-Centered Approach: Professionals in geriatric dentistry involve trusted caregivers in the treatment process, ensuring comfort and support. They communicate using simple language and maintain patience to ease patients’ apprehensions.
- Consideration for Patients with Cognitive Decline: Understanding the challenges of treating patients with dementia or physical limitations, these professionals remain patient and flexible. They prioritize the patient’s well-being, even if it means resuming treatment later to avoid compromising health.
Regular visits to a local dentist specializing in geriatric care are crucial. They offer personalized attention, addressing specific concerns regarding dental health and ensuring comprehensive care for elderly patients.
In a town like Milwaukie, where unity, respect, and care are more than just ideals, Prime Smiles Dental Care, led by Dr. Thomas Cardwell, has become a symbol of excellence. We are humbled and honored to be the dental practice that this community turns to for family dentistry, senior dental care, and veteran support.
At Prime Smiles, under the guidance of Dr. Thomas Cardwell, we see our patients as not just clients but as part of the extended Milwaukie family. Together, we’re building brighter, healthier smiles and a stronger, more connected community. Join us at Prime Smiles, led by Dr. Thomas Cardwell, and experience the warmth, expertise, and community-driven care that Milwaukie is known for. Your smile deserves nothing less.
Don’t wait to care for your senior family members. Schedule an appointment with a dentist today and take proactive steps toward maintaining optimal oral health at every stage of life. Your smile deserves nothing less.