Florida Dental Convention

FDC2021 Session Directory

Geriatric Oral Health: What Every Dental Professional Should Know

Course Code: C30
Speaker: Ms. Sonya Dunbar, RDH, MPH
CE Hours: 2.00
Start: Friday, June 25, 2021, 9:00 AM
End: Friday, June 25, 2021, 11:00 AM
Audience: Dentists, Assistants, Hygienists, Administrative Staff, Laboratory Technician, Dental Student


With baby boomers living longer and retaining their natural teeth, dental professionals must know the many dental needs required for older adults. According to the American Association of Retired People, in 2019 Florida was ranked No.7 of the top 10 places to retire in the country. Florida dental professionals need to be familiar with the geriatric dental patient’s needs. Geriatric dentistry is the delivery of oral care to older patients, many of whom require diagnosis, management, prevention and treatment of dental problems associated with age-related diseases. According to research, more than half of all dental patients over 60 years of age are on medication or are medically compromised in some way. The U.S. Surgeon General has stated that older Americans suffer from a “silent epidemic” of serious, consequential dental health problems. When you consider that many of these patients also have cognitive and physical issues that complicate treatment, it is easy to see the need for dental professionals who specialize in treating geriatric patients. This lecture will provide an overarching look at the dental, emotional and physical needs that geriatric patients require from dental professionals. Attendees will walk away with actionable plans to better serve the geriatric patients that can be implemented immediately.

Learning objectives:

Participants will be able to:

  • discuss the sensory, physical and cognitive impairments that complicate dental treatment and communication for the geriatric patient.
  • introduce effective ways to communicate with the caregiver.
  • review potential drug interactions that geriatric patients are more susceptible to that can cause medical errors.
  • identify the serious consequential dental health problems associated with many geriatric patients.
  • list the top 10 health conditions linked to oral care that adversely affects older adults.
  • implement effective strategies to improve the dental procedure experience and outcome for the aging patient.

Speaker: Ms. Sonya Dunbar, RDH, MPH, The Geriatric Toothfairy

About the speaker: Bachelor's degree in hygiene, Saint Petersburg University; master's degree in healthcare administration, Liberty University; veteran, U.S. Navy; CEO, The Geriatric Toothfairy; co-owner, Mobile Dental Xpress and National Mobile Dental Conference; author, Golden Nuggets for Life.

Disclosure: I or members of my immediate family have a financial relationship with the Mobile Dental Xpress, National Mobile Dental Conference and The Geriatric Toothfairy that may be relevant to this presentation.

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