San Francisco Geriatric Dentistry
Our dental care and treatment plans pay special attention to senior-specific concerns like:
- Changes to the structure of oral mucosa, gums and supporting bone surrounding our teeth.
- Xerostomia, or “dry-mouth” (often a side-effect of medications).
- Denture and implant options.
- The risk of infection traveling from the mouth to hip and joint sites.
- The link between periodontal disease and heart, respiratory, and stroke dangers.
Itani Dental coordinates with Case managers, Caregivers, and Senior Care facilities to provide services that meet the needs of the senior populations. Our services are specifically designed to accommodate patients dealing with Immobility, Dementia, and Phobias by providing the following services:
- Mobile dental screening for groups (Senior Centers, Churches, Residential Centers).
- Our Dentistry to Your Door program, a traveling (home care) dental health service, is one of the only programs in Northern California of its kind, delivering treatment to your home, residential group home, or assisted living facility. We maintain mobile equipment and techniques designed to provide this service
- The most appropriate course of sedation for our senior adults and special needs patients, as well as for emergency situations they may experience.
- Personalized assessments and coordination with case managers, caregivers, and senior care facilities.
CONTINUING CARE AND FOLLOW-UP VISITS
We recognize the need for ongoing care and work with patients and caregivers to establish daily care routines addressing common concerns, such as:
1) Problems Brushing Teeth and Flossing: For an older adult, physical as well as mental limitations can affect brushing.
2) Forgetting to, or Resisting, Brushing Teeth: Alzheimer’s, dementia, or frailty can result from forgetting to brush their teeth, or neglecting proper cleaning methods.
3) Dry Mouth or Xerostomia: Caused by lack of saliva, dry mouth can lead to difficulty eating and speaking, and can cause bad breath and lead to cavities and infections. Dry mouth is a side effect of many common prescription medications that seniors may take.
4) Other Side Effects of Drugs: Other side effects of medications can include swollen or bleeding gums, overgrowth of gum tissue, fungal infections, weakness and fatigue, confusion, Tardive dyskinesia (causing unusual and repetitive mouth movement), and tooth decay (added sugar or syrups in medications can contribute to tooth decay).
5) Caring for Dentures: This is especially important in aging adults who show signs of dementia. Dentures must fit properly and your dentist should be consulted immediately if sore spots develop, the fit is uncomfortable, or if there are any chips and breaks in dentures.
6) Complication Due to Cancer Chemotherapy and/or radiation can cause changes to the mouth including inflammation of oral tissues, xerostomia, infections, changes to one’s ability to open jaw fully, and erosion of the jaw bone.