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J Dent Educ. 2003 Dec;67(12):1327-36.

Oral health disparities among the elderly: interdisciplinary challenges for the future.

Author information

1
School of Dental Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106-4905, USA. map6@po.cwru.edu

Abstract

The elderly, like other population groups, have experienced varying levels of oral health among their diverse demographic subgroups. For those in poverty, experiencing social isolation, residing in long-term care institutions, and with complex medical illness, oral health care may be unreachable. Various models of training, education, and community, public, and professional collaboration have been proposed, yet few strategies have been implemented. Interdisciplinary approaches that bring interested partners together as equal stakeholders may create faster tracks in improving access to health care for those geriatric patients who lack it. This article explores past and present recommendations for interdisciplinary collaborations, reviews the current and future needs of the geriatric population, discusses educational models and content, and expresses the need for leadership to address oral health disparities in the elderly. Finally, strategies for making improvements in the existing oral health disparities are discussed.

PMID:
14733265
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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