Senior Living Communities

Dental care is a vital part of assisted living and personal care services

senior dental care

Bringing Dental Care to Senior Living Residents

Between heart issues, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and more, there are plenty of health-related ailments to manage when it comes to residents in senior living. In such a crowded playing field, seniors’ oral hygiene can fall to the wayside.

Transportation to and from dentist offices, for one, proves problematic for senior living residents, as the task typically falls on their adult children. And costs can deter the receipt of such services, as well, since Medicaid’s dental coverage varies greatly by state and Medicare doesn’t cover most routine dental care or procedures. In fact, one out of every five people over age 75 haven’t seen a dentist in the past five years, according to the American Dental Association. Drop In Dental has found an innovative solution to the problem: Bringing dentists to the seniors rather than the other way around. With a 40’ dental RV equipped with a wheel chair lift, our providers can see seniors in a comfortable, safe environment right outside their residence. If a resident has dental insurance we will bill our costs, otherwise we have a fee schedule tailored to these residents.

Seniors should follow these guidelines to increase their chances of maintaining good oral health:

See a dentist twice a year to have teeth cleaned and examined.
Rinse with mouthwash once or twice a day (only if it can be done without swallowing).
Floss at least once daily.
Brush twice a day.
While these practices may not completely prevent tooth decay and other oral health issues, they can certainly lower the risk of cavities and other problems. The National Center for Health Statistics estimates that about 20 percent of Americans over 65 have untreated cavities.

Oral health challenges for seniors

The American Dental Association says that physical and cognitive impairments associated with aging can make dental self-care challenging. For example, those with dementia may forget to brush their teeth or even how to brush. Seniors with arthritis in their hands and fingers may find brushing and flossing to be difficult. And for some, prescription medications can cause adverse changes in oral health.
The Alzheimer’s Association offers suggestions for assisting seniors with dementia with dental care. Those with arthritis might benefit from assistive devices such as easy toothpaste tube squeezers, double-sided denture brushes and floss aids, which are available online. And, because some medications can cause dry mouth, artificial saliva and denture fixatives can be good solutions for seniors with dentures.

Personal care can make a difference

Seniors are more likely to maintain their dental health and keep their teeth if they receive regular treatment and care.

At assisted living and personal care homes where Drop-In Medical provides care, we are able to assist seniors with check-ups, broken partials, broken dentures and fillings. Of course we provide routine cleaning and x-rays as well.

Our staff provides compassionate support to residents with services that also include weekly dental visits and one of our providers is on-call 24/7 to answer any dental emergency question or to provide assistance.

Drop-In Medical
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