Dental Care for Older Adults
Oral health is not only important for your teeth and gums, but it also has significant connections to overall health. Daily care and regular visits can prevent sickness and disease, speech problems, and malnutrition. But many older adults don’t receive the care they need.
That’s why Walker Methodist’s Oral Health Program is so important.
Thanks to a grant from the Delta Dental Foundation, our Oral Health Program is the first and only program of its kind in the state.
“Our goal is to improve access to care for older adults in under-served communities. We want to serve more people,” said Leslie Scott-Smith, Director of the Oral Health Program. “Bringing nursing, oral health, and other teams together for education fosters interdisciplinary collaboration. And this improves things for everyone.”
Walker Methodist is reaching this goal by:
- Providing oral assessments for residents
- Educating residents and team members
- Performing teledentistry visits in residents’ homes
What is Teledentistry?
As we age, mobility can become a barrier to proper dental care. For those in wheelchairs or struggle to get in and out of chairs, visiting a traditional dental office can be difficult.
With teledentistry, we bring dental services to resident apartments. Our team can take x-rays, conduct teeth cleanings, and apply desensitizers and fluoride. The team can do a live evaluation with a collaborative dentist or share the x-rays and collected information with a dentist for review.
Limited mobility should not be a barrier to proper care. And delivering this service right to the residents home makes a tremendous difference in their oral health, and thus their overall wellness.