Dental Health for Seniors
Special care is needed when dealing with the very elderly. This section is not meant for the very active senior citizen; a “young” 80 year old does not particularly need any special consideration, as I am sure they would tell you themselves. To me, the term geriatric dentistry more refers to those that have a significant altered life style due to mental or physical condition. I believe an emphasis should be placed on long term patient comfort. My goals in geriatric care are to enhance the quality of life. For example, teeth that might normally be considered non-restorable might be “patched-up” with a less wear-resistant filling material that releases fluoride into the surrounding teeth. Again, in a younger patient, this would not necessarily be the treatment of choice, but in these special patients, as my residency director would say, it is more important to “get them down the road” than to make the textbook, larger treatment plans.