Geriatric dentistry is a special branch that focuses on oral and dental health in the elderly and develops approaches to the problems in this field. It can also be called senior dental care.
The answer to popular questions such as what is geriatrics and “how do dental plans for seniors look like?” can be given as advanced age health. Therefore, it can be inferred from this the question of what geriatrics looks at.
Dental caries and periodontal diseases can cause infections in the oral cavity and negatively affect the general health of an elderly patient. Dentists specialized in this field evaluate the special conditions brought about by aging and decide on treatment methods accordingly.
There are common dental problems in older adults. The dentist should always evaluate the following conditions during the examination of the elderly patient, even if they come to him/her for another reason:
- Tooth decay
- Bleeding gums
- Wobbly teeth
- Mucosal lesions, precancerous lesions
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Poorly made prostheses
- Temporo-mandibular joint control
Changes in Teeth and Surrounding Tissues in Geriatric Patients
Significant changes in teeth and surrounding tissues may be observed in elderly individuals. These may be signs of geriatrics. Geriatric dental clinic specialists evaluate these differences and create appropriate treatment plans.
Generally, problems such as tooth eruption, gingival retraction, and loss of density in the jaw bones are encountered in the elderly. In addition, these cases, which require a special approach in line with the conditions of geriatric patients, can be taken under control with early diagnosis and correct intervention.
How is Examination Performed in Geriatric Dentistry?
Geriatric dental examination takes into account the special needs of elderly individuals. During this examination, the dentist should have geriatric hospital experience and act by empathizing with the patient. Intraoral examination, X-ray examinations, and a detailed patient history analysis form the basis for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. The best geriatric doctors are those who are strong in communicating with a patient of this age and take the time to understand their concerns.
Treatment Methods in Geriatric Dentistry
Geriatric dentistry offers various treatment methods to protect the oral and dental health of elderly individuals. Problems such as dental caries, gum diseases, and tooth loss are addressed with specially designed treatment plans.
Prosthetic applications, dental implant treatments, and restorative dentistry offer special solutions for geriatric patients. These treatment methods are aimed at eliminating the discomfort of elderly individuals and improving their quality of life. Gum health and oral hygiene are as important as ever in these ages.
Oral and Dental Health Measures for Geriatric Patients
Measures to protect oral and dental health in geriatric patients should be meticulously planned and implemented. Oral hygiene in geriatric patients requires more attention than other age groups. The patient should be encouraged to brush and floss as much as physical conditions allow. The specialist should teach the correct cleaning techniques to the patient and his/her carer, if any, and follow up the process with regular checks.
Nutritional habits and needs change with age. Diet plans should be specially designed to protect dental health in geriatric patients. Preferring soft and easily chewed foods is important for the protection of teeth. In addition, the consumption of foods containing calcium and vitamin D positively affects tooth and jaw health.
Dry mouth is common in old age due to drug use and systemic diseases. Dry mouth may predispose to dental caries and other oral problems. Therefore, precautions should be taken against dry mouth in this age group. The habit of drinking plenty of water should be encouraged and artificial saliva supply products should be used when necessary.
Pain and Discomfort Control in Geriatric Dentistry
Pain and discomfort in geriatric patients can adversely affect oral health. The dentist prescribes appropriate treatments for pain control and ensures patient comfort. This helps to ensure that dental treatments are carried out regularly and without interruption.
Maintaining oral and dental health in geriatric patients is an important step that contributes to improving their general health. These measures are vital to improve the quality of life of elderly individuals and maintain their oral health.
Dental Prosthetic Care and Problems in Geriatric Patients
The use of dental prostheses is frequently seen in geriatric patients and the correct use and care of these prostheses is of great importance. Correct information about dental prostheses, care guidelines, and solutions to potential problems can increase the comfort of the daily lives of elderly individuals. Users of this material should clean their dentures by removing them after each meal and washing them with water. The use of clean water is important to prevent damage to the product.
Special cleaning tablets or liquids should be used for cleaning dentures. These products keep the denture hygienic and prevent the formation of microorganisms. Denture brushes are specially designed and soft enough not to scratch the denture. They should be used regularly to clean the prosthesis and the inside of the mouth. They should also be cleaned regularly to prevent odor.
Istanbul Dental Center, which stands out with its experts and trained staff in every field of dentistry, is a very successful dental center in elderly oral and dental health. If you want to get detailed information about the dentures for seniors and dentistry for aging populations or other procedures, you can contact us from our contact information.
What are the screening tests performed in the geriatrics department?
The tests performed on patients in the geriatrics department are carried out to enable early diagnosis of diseases.
Does the use of dental prostheses cause pain in geriatric patients?
The use of dental prostheses in the elderly may cause minimal pain until they adapt to oral habits. However, this is usually temporary. If there is no incorrectly made prosthesis, there is no pain.
How can geriatric dentists help denture wearers?
Geriatric dentists can support denture wearers to maintain their oral health by providing them with appropriate care instructions and regular check-ups.