The development of technology, ecology, the improvement of the standard of living and the quality of health services, the accumulation of knowledge enable more and more people to live to an advanced age. Extended life is a great success for humanity – medically and socially – but also a challenge due to the emergence of new problems.
Geriatric patients are a special group because of changes that inevitably occur with time, their vulnerability to physiological, psychological, social and health problems.
The study of the characteristics of the geriatric patient and the peculiarities of aging, is important for increasing the medical qualification and obtaining competencies that improve the care of these patients, and is imperative given the demographic trends.
People today retain more and more of their natural teeth until old age and have a need for specific preventive and restorative care. Treating and meeting these requirements in the dental office is sometimes a challenging but rewarding experience. Dental team members must be better prepared to meet these demands through in-depth knowledge of the needs and treatments specific to these patients.
The geriatric dentistry deals with the provision of dental care to the elderly, including the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of problems to age-related diseases. Its purpose is to prepare specialists to acquire skills, knowledge and experience to treat patients in an institutional, public or private area. Poor oral health is considered a risk factor for general health problems. Older people are more susceptible to oral problems or diseases due to theincrease in chronic diseases and physical or mental disabilities. The elderly thus form a distinct group in terms of care provision. Gerodontology provides a comprehensive overview of the aging process and its implications for oral health and dentistry. Maintaining oral health in this age group is important not only for quality of life, but also for maintaining general health.