The Importance of Geriatric Dentistry for Older Patients

To provide older patients with the dental care they need, their dentist needs to have experience in geriatric dentistry.

No matter a person’s age, a healthy mouth is essential for good overall health and well-being. When our mouth is healthy, we can eat delicious and nutritious food, we look good, and we can speak clearly and with confidence.

What is Geriatric Dentistry?

Geriatric dentistry is the administration of oral care to elderly patients, many of whom require diagnosis, management, prevention, and treatment of dental issues connected with age-related diseases. Just as a person’s medical needs change as they get older, so do their dental needs.

There are several reasons why older people need specialized dental care from a dentist who has extensive experience and training working with geriatric patients. Some of these reasons include:

  • Potential drug interactions – Older patients often take several over-the-counter and prescription medications. These can make them more vulnerable to drug interactions and reactions.
  • Understanding and Compassion – Older patients tend to have sensory, cognitive, and physical impairments that can make communication and dental treatment difficult. They may get easily overwhelmed and need to be treated compassionately.
  • Understanding and Patience – If an older patient has dementia or has physical impairments, it may take longer to finish an exam.

The dental professionals at The Dental Anesthesia Center understand the unique circumstances that often come with age. We take special precautions to protect the safety and well-being of our older patients. We take great care to reduce distractions and noises during dental treatment. We communicate with our patients and help them feel relaxed and at ease.

Also, we are the Only Board Certified Dental Anesthesiologists in the State of Missouri, including the St. Louis Metro Area.

Sedation Levels in Geriatric Dentistry

  • Deep Sedation: Deep sedation, otherwise known as general anesthesia, is when the patient is completely asleep. This method ensures that patients have no memories of the procedure, perfect for those who do not have the ability to mentally or physically tolerate dental treatment. Only dentists who have completed an oral surgery residency or a two-year dental anesthesiology residency may provide this sedation method.
  • Moderate Sedation: Moderate sedation is known as sedation dentistry, patients are able to respond to their dentist throughout treatment. Moderate sedation does not put the patient to sleep.
  • Minimal Sedation: Minimal sedation includes the use of a mild sedative. No additional training is necessary for a dentist to apply this method.

When you come in for your appointment Dr. Hoffmann, Dr. Thoms, or Dr. Behl will decide which level is best for you. We look forward to meeting you. Call us at (314) 862-7844 and one of our friendly team members will be happy to speak with you.

Call Us Today

The Only Board Certified Dental Anesthesiologist in Missouri, including the St. Louis Metro Area.

Call (314) 862-7844
Updated: February 2, 2022

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