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Gerodontology. 2007 Sep;24(3):177-80.

Geriatric dentistry: a new specialty in Brazil.

Author information

1
Community Dentistry Department, Piracicaba Dental School, University of Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil. hebling@fop.unicamp.br

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To present the current status of geriatric dentistry in Brazil.

BACKGROUND:

In 2001, the Brazilian Dental Council established a new specialty: geriatric dentistry. This decision was based on the increase in both the elderly population and the demand for dental treatment of this cohort.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Data were obtained through online searches of the Brazilian Dental Council and the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics.

RESULTS:

Brazil has 170 dental schools offering around 14 000 undergraduate vacancies every year. At the postgraduate level, there are 19 recognised dental specialties, one of which is geriatric dentistry, comprising 18 certificate programmes, with the potential to produce 216 new specialists every 18 months. The dentist/habitant ratio was 1:870, higher than that recommended by the Word Health Organization. The Brazilian population consists of around 14.5 million elderly people (8.6%). There were 124 specialists in geriatric dentistry distributed irregularly throughout the country. The specialist/elderly population rate was 1:117 249. At the undergraduate level, this new specialty is not included in the curricula of most dental schools in Brazil.

CONCLUSIONS:

Geriatric dentistry should be included in the undergraduate curricula of dental schools in Brazil. Postgraduate degree courses should be developed to produce more clinical academics and researchers in this field.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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