Welcome to Talking Prevention, TePe’s periodical online resource, containing news and articles on preventative dentistry.
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In many industrialised countries, as birth rates fall and life expectancy increases, the proportion of older adults within the population is increasing. This trend is predicted to continue throughout the twenty first century. Although prevalence of chronic medical conditions is high in this cohort, large longitudinal population studies into ageing have shown that an increasing number of older adults are living independently and are mobile and active in their communities. With increasing numbers of patients retaining their natural dentition into old age, the immense challenges of providing dental care for this population will increase.
As dental professionals our knowledge of the anatomy of the structures of the head and neck should be second to none; but I don’t think that I am alone in my inability to recollect the finer detail of the blood supply to the head and neck! Does that matter in our day to day work I ask? Perhaps not, but it does us all good to revisit the basics to aid us in our understanding of new developments within the profession.
Instruction in self-performed, mechanical plaque removal has been the bedrock of oral disease prevention for the past century; maintaining a good level of oral hygiene is the key to sound oral health and the prevention of periodontal disease for the majority of patients. Aiding patient compliance with oral hygiene advice, to reduce the risk of oral disease and maintain oral health, is a difficult and demanding goal for the dental profession.