The dentistry field is constantly evolving, and with the aging population in the United States, it is important for dental professionals to be aware of the special considerations for elderly patients undergoing dental surgery. Denture retention is essential for maintaining form and function, has a profound impact on chewing, swallowing and nutrition, and helps preserve speech and aesthetics, all of which are critical to quality of life. For most healthy elderly patients, dental care is simple and all treatment options should be considered to preserve the dentition. There is increasing evidence that oral health has wide-ranging implications and is synergistically related to general health, i.e., cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases and cancer. When guiding patients on appropriate treatment options, dentists often consider the patient's medical status and financial resources; however, it's also important to consider chronic illnesses or cognitive impairments that could affect their ability to consent to dental treatment or even accurately answer a health questionnaire.
Dental professionals must be prepared to address the age-specific needs that these patients will present in the dental environment. Creating support networks of health care providers, including dental and medical professionals, caregivers and long-term care staff, will be essential to helping the growing aging population in the United States maintain and maintain natural, functional and healthy teeth for life. Preventive dental care and restorative maintenance should be considered, as any medical care would be in retirement planning. If the dentist believes that there may be an underlying undisclosed health condition or information that the patient is unaware or that seems unclear, they should send a consultation request form for dental treatment to the patient's doctor, follow the doctor's recommendations, and save the doctor's response in the patient's history. Dental professionals can help change the still-common misconception that tooth loss and the use of dentures are inevitable in older adults. As healthcare providers, dentists must consider the patient as a whole and address their constantly changing dental needs from a holistic and interdisciplinary point of view, always taking into account how patients function in their daily environment.
Let's take a look at what treating elderly patients can mean when it comes to family dentistry in Edina.