Longer life spans have resulted in an aging population boom that is anticipated to continue indefinitely. This has increased the need for geriatric dentistry, provided by trained dental practitioners who have prior experience with senior citizens. Geriatric dentistry is the practice of providing oral care to seniors, who mainly need the diagnosis, treatment, management, and rehabilitation of dental issues caused by age-related illnesses.
Studies show that more than 50% of dental patients above 60 are on medicines or have a medical condition. Additionally, Older individuals are more sensitive to medications used in dentistry, such as painkillers and local anesthetics, and are much more prone to develop dental diseases associated with aging, such as root and crown caries, dry mouth, and periodontal diseases. It's simple to understand why dental practitioners who specialize in treating senior patients are needed. Many of these individuals have physiological problems that make treatment more difficult.
There are several factors why senior individuals require specialized dental care from dentists with significant knowledge and training. Among them are:
Drug interactions that may occur include: Patients in their latter years are much more likely to take a variety of over-the-counter and prescription drugs, putting them at risk for drug interactions, dosage mistakes, and adverse drug events. Geriatric dentists are aware of this and take extra steps to ensure that elderly patients' wellbeing and safety are not jeopardized.
Empathy and understanding: Motor, Sensory, physical, and intellectual deficits are frequent among seniors, complicating dental care and interaction. Elderly-centric dentists make special effort to keep sounds and distractions to a minimum during procedures since they are acquainted with these concerns. Many also include television and music programs to offer senior patients something to see or listen to.
Patience and consideration: It's not always possible to complete an assessment or therapy while working with elderly individuals with dementia or physical limitations. Even the most outstanding patience and best preparation aren't always enough, as experienced dental professionals know. As a result, they are willing to halt a therapy if required and resume it later in the day or week, as long as the patient's health is not jeopardized.
Geriatric dentists take extra care to engage trusted carers in the treatment process, allowing them to provide comfort and reassurance. Because older patients with cognitive impairments are frequently overwhelmed, geriatric-focused dental professionals make a point of communicating with them; in short, easy words that help them relax and enjoy their treatment.
Remember to visit your dentist regularly for dental checkups. They may also assist you with any particular questions or concerns you may have about your dental treatment.