What to Know About Geriatric Dentistry
Geriatric dentistry is specialized oral care aimed at elderly patients. As you age, your dental needs change and you’ll need more specified treatment to deal with your age-related dental problems. Your age also makes you more predisposed to oral conditions because of age-related functional changes as well as increased sensitivity to medication used in dentistry. When you consider the diversified needs of elderly patients, it’s easy to understand why you need a dental professional who specializes in geriatric oral care.
Dental Care for Geriatric Patients
Dental care is different for geriatric patients in a number of ways. One of the big differences is the number of prescription and over-the-counter medications taken by patients. It’s more difficult to prescribe the right oral care medication when a patient is already on a number of prescriptions. A specialized geriatric dentist has a better understanding of which oral care medications will interact best with your current prescriptions.
There are also a number of age-related conditions that a geriatric dentist can treat more efficiently. Common types of issues found in elderly patients include dry mouth, root and coronal caries, and periodontitis. Another fun fact is that nearly 68 percent of adults aged 65 years or older have gum disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A dentist who specializes in these problem areas will be much more equipped to diagnose and treat the conditions than a typical dentist.
Geriatric Dentistry Treatment
The great thing about geriatric dentistry providers is they’re more understanding and familiar with your needs. Geriatric dental professionals are aware that many seniors experience sensory, cognitive, and physical impairments which can affect their treatment and oral care. Specialized dentists know how to effectively communicate care needs to patients or caregivers.
Geriatric dentists are also more likely to have tools in place to help elderly patients feel more comfortable during treatment. For example, some dentists will put on a television or radio program to keep geriatric patients entertained and calm during their oral care. This is particularly beneficial for patients who suffer from cognitive or sensory impairments. The patients can focus on the programs during treatment, which helps keep them calm and occupied while receiving dental care.
Geriatric Dentistry Specialty Near Me
Maintaining oral health as you age is incredibly important if you want to keep your natural teeth when you’re older. With your natural teeth, you’ll have a much easier time eating as well as socializing in your later years. Whether you’re looking for geriatric treatment for yourself or a loved one, you should find a geriatric dentistry specialist near you to handle your oral care needs.
It’s best to find a local location for your dental needs in case any emergencies come up. If you live in the St. Louis area and are in need of a dentist specializing in geriatric oral care, then check out Delmar Family Dentistry. Delmar covers a variety of dental care from family and geriatric dentistry to cosmetic and restorative dentistry. Any questions you have about oral health, Delmar is sure to have the answer.