Geriatric Dentist in Fresno, CA
Our geriatric dentistry specialists provide oral care to seniors, including the diagnosis, management, prevention, and treatment of dental problems associated with age-related diseases. For more information, call us or book your appointment. We are conveniently located at 7215 N First St Suite 107 Fresno CA 93720.
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Geriatric dentistry focuses on seniors who need dental care, but also have other conditions that need to be made aware of including chronic conditions or sensory issues. Our dental professionals have a better understanding due to our continued training on how to make our older patients comfortable, and able to complete a dentist treatment.
Absolutely! Geriatric dentistry is the delivery of dental care to our older patients, many of who require diagnosis, dental management, prevention, and treatment of their dental issues which are often associated with age-related diseases. Often, many of our older patients often show increased sensitivity to medication used within dentistry clinics, including analgesics, and local anesthetics, which cause certain dental conditions that are related to aging.
While many do not think of how age is related to dental, it is related to all aspects medically, including dental. As we age, yes, we may get wrinkles, folds, and sagging skin, but our bodies also take a hit with the bones becoming frailer (this includes the jaw bone!) This is why geriatric dentistry is so important for seniors.
Geriatric dentistry is very important for a number of reasons, particularly because many older individuals need specialized care from their dentist who has extensive training and experience when they provide geriatric dentistry. Some of which include(s):
• Possible drug interactions
Senior patients are more likely to take over-the-counter prescription medications which can make them vulnerable to drug interactions, drug reactions, and medication errors. Dentists who specialize in geriatric dentistry will understand this and take special precautions to help protect the safety, as well as the well-being of our senior patients.
• Compassion and understanding
It’s quite common for seniors to have physical, cognitive, and sensory impairments that may complicate dental treatments and communication with their dentists. Due to the familiarity with these issues, our geriatric specialist dentists take great care to help minimize any noises and distractions during the patient’s dental treatments. Often dental offices will have TV or radio programming to help get their focus off the dental treatment and onto something enjoyable.
• Patience and considerations
When we have senior patients which are suffering from dementia or other physical impairments, it may not always be possible to complete an exam or treatment. Our experienced dentists and dental staff understand that even the greatest patience and total preparation may not be enough. Due to this, we are prepared to stop any treatment if necessary and return to the treatment at a later point either that day or that week, as long as the delay will not compromise the patient’s oral health.
On average, we usually recommend to every one of our senior patients to try and visit routine checkups twice a year. This is the minimum we recommend to schedule as this level of frequency allows for the buildup of tartar to be removed and cleaning will be done to prevent any dental issues including gum disease and decay. In addition to these routine visits, our dentists will also provide the opportunity to catch potential problems before they become more serious. Our dentists will also keep an eye out for other issues including ones that can become quite problematic for our senior patients including receding gums, bone loss, as well as diseases, and medication-related oral health issues.
Our dentists may state you will need an increasingly infrequent visit to monitor any additional dental needs. Due to aging, many will experience oral and dental issues. A few of the health issues that can commonly lead to oral health issues include oral problems and teeth issues.
Many dental issues that our senior patients are susceptible to include:
• Untreated tooth decay
Almost 96% of seniors have had a cavity before, while 1 in 5 will often have untreated tooth decay.
• Gum disease
We see a large percentage of seniors that have gum disease. It has been mentioned that 2 in 3 seniors have gum disease.
• Tooth loss
Did you know, that nearly 1 in 5 seniors have lost all of their teeth? Tooth loss is twice as prevailing amongst seniors, and many are either missing teeth or wearing dentures which can severely affect nutrition, this is because with no teeth or with dentures, you can usually only eat softer, or more easily chewed foods.
• Oral cancer
Oral cancer is primarily diagnosed in seniors, usually around the age of 62 years.
• Chronic disease
Individuals with chronic diseases including diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are more likely to develop periodontal disease (gum disease), due to their dental care being less of a priority to them than adults without chronic conditions. If you are looking for a geriatric dentistry specialist, contact us today. Call us for more information, or request an appointment online today! We are located at 7215 N First St Suite 107 Fresno CA 93720. We serve patients from Fresno CA, Clovis CA, Burness CA, Gordon CA, Calwa CA, and Easton CA.