It is a well-understood fact that the world's population is ageing. Concomitant with that is an increase in the chronicity of disease including dental disease. The challenges faced by the dental profession in managing patients as they age are becoming increasingly important. What do we know and understand about diseases and their impact on dental health in the elderly? What role do salivary dysfunction and biofilms play and how are these integrated with general and oral health? Are we really prepared to manage the impact of these factors and what is the profession doing to better equip itself for the inevitable change to dental practice that is likely to ensue? Dental education in Special Needs Dentistry and in particular geriatric care expands beyond the realms of the University setting. There is potential to expand knowledge in dental care amongst the elderly through continuing professional development that is now mandatory across Australia and New Zealand. Training should not be limited to University curricula. It should extend to include medical and allied health staff, staff in aged care facilities and all those involved in policy and decision making for the elderly. The aim of this paper is to address where education in geriatric oral health is currently placed and the role to be played by all key stakeholders from University to Community arenas.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Annals of the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Apr 2012|