When it comes to dental care for the elderly, there are certain considerations that must be taken into account. As people age, they are more likely to experience a variety of oral health issues due to the natural aging process, lack of access to proper dental care due to financial constraints, or difficulty in providing adequate dental hygiene on their own. Therefore, it is essential for dental professionals to be prepared to address the age-specific needs of these patients in the dental environment. Fortunately, there are a number of resources available to help seniors pay for dental care.
The American Dental Association (ADA) has advocated for the development of policies at the federal, state and local levels that support the provision of fair, equitable and choice-based dental care for older patients. Dental hygienists are in a unique position to build relationships with patients, assess their health history and daily routines, and provide personalized interventions to help maintain optimal oral health. Additionally, the Dental Lifeline Network is a national non-profit organization that provides comprehensive dental care to adults in need. Veterans can also access the VA Dental Insurance Program (VADIP), which offers low-cost private dental insurance.
When it comes to elderly patients seeking regular professional care, there are several barriers that must be taken into account. The Health Insurance Marketplace can provide information about the different dental plans available in your area. Your dentist may also offer several options to help older or low-income patients pay for their dental care. The ADA also recommends using antibacterial mouthwash to reduce bacteria that cause plaque and gum disease.
In addition, there may be limited availability of dental schools and appointment times, so you may have to wait a long time before you can schedule an appointment. Standalone dental insurance plans offer different levels of coverage and contain information on what symptoms to watch for, when to go to the dentist and ways to help pay for dental visits. For those with cognitive problems or physical disabilities, it may be difficult for them or their caregivers to maintain a regular dental hygiene routine. Finally, communication during a dental visit can be challenging when older adults have cognitive issues.
Therefore, it is important for dentists and other healthcare professionals to be aware of these issues and take steps to ensure that elderly patients receive the best possible care.