How to Get to "YES" with Geriatric Dental Implant Patients

People are living longer and keeping their dentitions longer. Our healthcare capabilities are much better than the early 1900's when the average lifespan was approximately 47 years of age.

Toc Woman Smile
A Peer-Reviewed Publication Written by Eric Shapira, DDS, MAGD, MA, MHA

Toc Woman SmileAbstract

People are living longer and keeping their dentitions longer. Our healthcare capabilities are much better than the early 1900's when the average lifespan was approximately 47 years of age. Although almost 25 % of the US population is edentulous, an even greater number of people over the age of 65 years will be prone to being partially edentulous in the future. This cohort of people will have the opportunity to receive one or more dental implants as tooth replacements. Dental implants were first recognized in the 1950's as a source of alternative tooth replacement. Now they have evolved to being the first choice in restorative procedures to replace a missing tooth or teeth. In these strained economic times; however, it may be a difficult decision for our senior population to spend large amounts of money to replace missing teeth with dental implants.

How to get to "YES" with potential geriatric dental implant patients is a discussion about the techniques of communication, salesmanship and empathic responses to important questions. Also discussed is the implant process itself which will enable patients to consider dental implants rather than a fixed bridge or removable appliance to restore edentulous areas. Among the most difficult parts of a dentist's job is getting our patients to want what our clinical judgment indicates they need. The ultimate decision about having dental treatment is the patient's. The ultimate decision about treatment lies with the practitioner.

Learning Objectives:

At the conclusion of this educational activity participants will be able to:

  1. Present a treatment plan to a geriatric implant patient
  2. Describe the factors that affect patient decisions about dental care
  3. Discuss the differences between selling and educating patients

To view this course in its entirety, please click here.

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