Improving access to dental care for older people.

Elena Borreani*, Kate Jones, Desmond Wright, Sasha Scambler, Jennifer E. Gallagher

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    Population demography is changing and the proportion of older people in society is increasing globally, particularly in western countries. Furthermore, as many more people survive into older age and retain their natural teeth so their risk of oral disease remains, or increases, bringing challenges such as root caries and periodontal diseases, together with the long-term effects of dental care. Despite their increased need, the uptake of dental care by older people is characteristically poor and unmet need may be high. Barriers to the uptake of care include a lack of perceived need, together with concerns about availability, cost and fear. This paper therefore outlines a series of actions for dental teams to take to minimize barriers and facilitate the uptake of dental care amongst older people. It draws on the findings of research conducted amongst older adults living in the community in a socially deprived inner city area as well as the wider literature. Clinical Relevance: It is important for dental teams to reflect on the difficulties that older people face while trying to access dental care services and, where possible, to address them in order to facilitate dental attendance amongst this section of the population who have much to gain from high quality preventively orientated care.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)297-298, 301-302
    JournalDental update
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


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