Finding a dentist who understands and specializes in serving your unique needs can make a big difference in the level of comfort and trust you feel, but it can be difficult to know how to find that. Let’s talk about how a geriatric dentist can improve your care to help you decide if that specialty may be a good fit for you.
What is a Geriatric Dentist?
Geriatric dentists are specialists with a focus on the unique challenges and conditions that senior patients face. They can do all the things a regular dentist can, but since they have chosen to focus their attention on the specific needs of a select population, they can have more experience and expertise in meeting needs that other dentists may overlook or not have the time to address with the utmost thoroughness and compassion that a specialist can.
How a geriatric dentist can improve your care may vary from patient to patient, but here are some examples of common conditions that can benefit from the care of a geriatric dentist.
Dry mouth is a common condition that many senior patients suffer from because they are often prescribed medications that list dehydration and reduced saliva flow as side effects. Adequate saliva production is important because saliva is how your body remineralizes your teeth and fights cavities.
Because many senior patients are prescribed medications, they are also at an increased risk of drug interactions and sensitivity to medications used during dental procedures.
Gum disease and gum recession are other common conditions for senior patients due to the hormonal changes related to the natural aging process.
A geriatric dentist is experienced in recognizing the signs of age-related dry mouth and gum issues so that they can treat them at their earliest stages to help prevent them from progressing. Geriatric dentists are also up-to-date on the latest research and training to help ensure the safety of their patients who may have an increased vulnerability to the risk reactions, side effects or complications during dental procedures.
When to Call a Geriatric Dentist
Visiting the dentist can be stressful for anyone. If you’re looking for a dentist that can provide the highest level of care in a comfortable, calming and compassionate environment that is tailored to your needs, it’s the perfect time to make an appointment to find out how a geriatric dentist can improve your care.
Call our Bethlehem, PA, dental office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.