Older patients have special dental needs

elderly-patients-2Mouths, like other body parts, are affected by years and by genes. Older Americans are fast becoming the largest segment of our population and at the same time suffer disproportionately from oral diseases. The problem particularly acute for individuals in long term care facilities.  We say a patient yesterday in our Sandy Springs office and had to pull another tooth.  Our dilemma is how to get the facilities to do a better job.  The patient is usually on multiple medications and common side effects of normally reduce salivary flow.[1]   This adversely affects their quality of life, the ability to chew, and leads to significant problems of the teeth and their supporting structures.

It pains us to see this happen.  Quite honestly, a lot of senior care patients suffer from neglect, which results in terrible oral health.  These elderly patients have difficulty performing routine oral hygiene procedures because of physical limitations, such as Parkinson’s or rheumatoid arthritis or in the worst case, Alzheimer’s.  The further compounding of these issues is neglect.

They shouldn’t have to.  And it pains us to see it happening.

Together, you two can make an unbeatable team!  We can lead the horse to water but the elderly need better care between dental visits.

Specializing in Geriatric Patients, Dr. Scheinfeld was trained in prosthodontics at Emory University School of Dentistry. Dr. Oland and Dr. ZoAnna Scheinfeld devote a considerable amount of time actually traveling to nursing homes to treat the elderly.  If we can be of help to your and parents, please call us.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

Hanna Orland, DMD

ZoAnna Scheinfeld, MS, DMD

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328

404-256-3620

www.rightsmilecenter.com

info@rightsmilecenter.com

Related articles

[1] Fox PC, Eversole LR. Diseases of the salivary glands. In: Silverman S, Eversole LR, Truelove EL, eds. Essentials of Oral Medicine. Ontario, Canada: BC Decker; 2002:260–276.

 

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