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Article: Volume 41 Number 5 Page 406 - June 2014

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  Dental Update 415: 406-412

Gerodontology:  Minimal Intervention Dentistry and Older Patients Part 1: Risk Assessment and Caries Prevention

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Abstract: Ten million people in the UK today are aged over 65. The latest projections estimate that there will be 5½ million more people aged 65 and older in the next 20 years. This projected pattern of population ageing will have profound consequences for dentistry. Minimal intervention dentistry (MID) is a modern evidence-based approach to caries management in dentate patients that uses the ‘medical model’ whereby disease is controlled by the ‘oral physician’. This approach offers considerable benefits over conventional dentistry for older patients. It encourages patients to be responsible for their oral health through the provision of both knowledge and motivation. MID encompasses risk assessment for dental disease, early detection and control of disease processes, and minimally invasive treatment.

Clinical relevance: Risk assessment tools can aid the general dental practitioner and the patient to develop a suitable caries prevention programme for that individual and reduce the need for future operative intervention.

Author notes: Martina Hayes, BDS, MFDS, Clinical Research Fellow, Restorative Dentistry, University College Cork, Edith Allen, BDS, MFDS, PhD, Dip Con Sed, Lecturer in Restorative Dentistry, Cristiane da Mata, BDS, MFD, PhD Student, Restorative Dentistry, Gerald McKenna, BDS, MFDS, PhD, Lecturer in Prosthodontics and Oral Rehabilitation, Restorative Dentistry and Francis Burke, BDentSc, MSc, PhD, FDS, FFD, Senior Lecturer/Consultant, Restorative Dentistry, University College Cork, Dental School and Hospital, Wilton, Cork, Ireland.

Objective: To be aware of the risk assessment tools available and utilize them to tailor individualized caries preventive programmes to the needs of older patients.