PERIO - Periodontal Practice Today 5 (2008), No. 4 4. June 2009
It is known that the proportion of older adults in the UK population is increasing, life expectancy is increasing and that edentulism is declining. This means that there will be increasing demand for periodontal treatment from elderly patients and it is incumbent on the dental profession to ensure that their particular and growing needs are addressed. The role of age per se in the development and progression of periodontal disease is considered. The main part of the present paper presents a framework for providing such care, emphasising the need for producing individually tailored and adaptive management strategies that cope with particular and changing patient circumstances. The fundamental objective is the preservation of a functional and comfortable dentition and the key to success is setting realistic goals of periodontal therapy. A five-stage approach to treatment is advocated, although the specific therapy undertaken must be individually judged and implemented depending upon the particular circumstances. The potential clinical findings at the re-examination stage after completion of cause-related therapy are considered and there is specific emphasis on management strategies to cope with different treatment outcomes.
Keywords: elderly patients, management of periodontal disease, periodontitis