Older adults have the most diverse clinical and physical presentation than any other age group. We could see fully functioning independent adults, frail older adults characterized by numerous medical conditions that impair mobility and dexterity and those who are dependent on help to carry out the normal daily activities.
. Age is often a primary consideration when developing a treatment plan but it is important to assess each patient’s individual needs and capacities instead of relying on stereotypes of aging.
The rapid growth of the elderly population affects dentistry in a number of ways.
1/ the elderly are retaining teeth longer than the previous generation
Approximately 90% of the seniors who have their natural teeth have experienced decay with 64 % suffering from periodontal or gum disease.
2/ the body changes that occur with aging often make treatment planning more complex.
3/ medical problems and medications complicate and in some cases exacerbate dental disease.
Limitations in frail older adults create barriers to achieving and maintaining optimum oral health.
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Revisit this site next week for more on prevention and disease management of this vulnerable group.