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Article: Volume 38 Number 7 Page 460 - September 2011

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  Dent Update 2011; 38: 460-470

Gerodontology:  Prosthodontic Care for Elderly Patients

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Abstract: For older patients, clinicians should consider maintaining teeth and using functionally-orientated treatment strategies as an alternative to removable prostheses. When the remaining dentition has a poor prognosis, key teeth should be preserved as overdenture abutments and a gradual transition to edentulousness planned. Where complete dentures are provided, these can be retained using dental implants to overcome many of the problems associated with conventional replacement dentures.

Clinical relevance: The elderly population of today is better informed and more demanding of oral healthcare providers than previous generations. Clinicians should be aware of all the prosthodontic treatment options available for older patients.

Author notes: P Finbarr Allen, BDS, PhD, MSc, FDS, FDS(Rest Dent), FFD, Professor of Prosthodontics and Oral Rehabilitation, Restorative Dentistry, Gerald McKenna, BDS, MFDS, PgCert T&L, Clinical Fellow, HRB PhD Scholar in Health Services Research, Restorative Dentistry, University College Cork, Ireland and Nico Creugers, DDS, PhD, Chair of the Department of Oral Function and Prosthetic Dentistry, University Medical Centre Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Objective: To highlight the prosthodontic options available for treating older patients. Conventional and functionally orientated treatment strategies are discussed to help clinicians plan appropriate care for the elderly population.