A recent article in the Providence Journal highlighted an important health issue for older people: access to dental care.
While many people don’t particularly enjoy going to the dentist, most of us accept that it’s important to our overall health and wellness. But as the article points out, seniors face additional challenges when it comes to dental care. Some of those barriers and complications include:
- fear or years of neglect
- impaired cognitive skills
- mobility issues
- susceptibility to tooth decay because of arthritis
- financial need
The article describes how even seniors who have maintained their oral health their whole lives can experience a rapid deterioration when they enter a nursing home. Another factor is that dentists require more training in treating geriatric patients.
Luckily, in Rhode Island, adult Medicaid beneficiaries are eligible for many dental services through nursing home mobile dental programs, community clinics, and dentists/specialists in private practice. Visit the Executive Office of Health & Human Services’ Dental Services webpage to find a care provider in Rhode Island.
See: Dental care for the elderly is fraught with challenges (Providence Journal, January 11, 2016)