Geriatric Dentistry: Providing Care for an Aging Population - L0855


About Course #L0855

Review Date: May 17, 2017

Expiration Date: May 16, 2020

Original Release Date: April 28, 2014

The purpose of this course is to help all dental professionals gain an appreciation for the significant opportunities the aging population will bring to their practices, along with the challenges. This course will provide dental professionals with basic knowledge and information in gerontology and geriatric dentistry that will enhance their ability to diagnose and manage older patients who have been affected by age-dependent or age-associated changes. The target audience for this basic-level course will be dentists, dental hygienists and dental assistants of all ages and experience levels.

It is often difficult for dentists and dental hygienists to distinguish between normal aging-related changes in the tissues of the oral cavity and those resulting from pathological changes. Some dental professionals are unaware of appropriate strategies for dealing with patients with cognitive impairments who exhibit care resistance. Additionally, many dental professionals lack knowledge of the biological changes that occur as a part of normal aging and the clinical modifications that should be made in dental practice to accommodate those changes. This course will address these gaps in knowledge and many others. Knowledge gained in this course will help dental professionals prepare for the increased number of older adult patients who require their care now and those who will seek their care in the future.

AGD Subject Code: 752

Course Objectives

  • Describe the demographic characteristics of older adults in the United States.
  • Identify the normal biological changes associated with aging.
  • Explain the normal oral changes associated with aging.
  • Describe the incidence of xerostomia and dental caries in older adults.
  • Identify the oral-systemic links in the older adult population.
  • Describe oral health considerations for the institutionalized older adult.
  • Describe access to care and utilization patterns of older adults.

Western Schools designates this activity for 2 continuing education credits.

About the Author(s)

Pamela Stein, DMD, MPH, received her DMD degree from the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry in 1990 and her master of public health degree from the University of Kentucky College of Public Health in 2009. She practiced dentistry for 13 years as the attending dentist at two nursing home facilities. In 2003, Dr. Stein was appointed as a full-time faculty member at the University of Kentucky Colleges of Medicine and Dentistry. She is currently an associate professor in the Division of Public Health Dentistry at the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry, where she teaches geriatric dentistry and public health dentistry.

Course Disclosures

  • Courses must be completed on or before the expiration date noted in the course description above.
  • You must score 75% or higher on the final exam and complete the course evaluation to pass this course and receive a certificate of completion.
  • Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that the course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Western Schools' policy not to accept commercial support.
  • All persons involved in the planning and development of this course have disclosed no relevant financial relationships or other conflicts of interest related to the course content.
  • There are no prerequisites for this course.