Dentaltown March 2020 - 28

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case study

Revitalizing
Restorations
in Seniors

How new materials help address a new segment of aging patients
by Dr. Robert Rosenfeld
Dr. Robert Rosenfeld is a wetfingered general dentist who
practices in Westwood, New
Jersey. A graduate of Cornell
University and Northwestern
University Dental School,
Rosenfeld has advanced training
in aesthetic dentistry and is on
faculty at the Nash Institute for
Dental Learning in Charlotte,
North Carolina. He serves as a key opinion leader to several
dental manufacturers and has lectured on various subjects
in restorative dentistry. He is a Fellow in the International
Academy of Dental Facial Esthetics.

28

America's population is aging; a 2016
study predicted that by the year 2030, there
will be 74 million Americans aged 65 or
older (or 19% of our population). That's
an increase of 46% in that segment of the
population in just 20 years.1
Geriatric dental care can be defined as
the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of
dental and oral diseases for all older adults.2
The characteristics of this new generation
of seniors are different from those of the
past, when geriatric dental care was largely
"denture care." The prevalence of edentulism
in 1957-58 was 18.9%, while by 2012 that
statistic had declined to 4.9%.1
Treating this segment of the population
has become more challenging. Dentists are
less comfortable suggesting-and patients are
less receptive to the idea-of tooth removal
and replacement by removable prostheses.
Summed up nicely by a report from the AGD:
"Baby boomers are retiring with basically a
full complement of teeth, and there are two
main reasons for that: better preventive care
and workplace dental insurance. It's much
more common nowadays to see a 65-year-old
wearing braces instead of dentures."1
Seniors still face challenges, such as

diminished dexterity or xerostomia (often
from medications), which can contribute to
an increase in caries. Dentists need to be
equipped to diagnose and treat carious lesions
for these patients; the use of the Diagnodent
or other caries-detecting technologies, for
example, may assist in the early detection
of decay.

Fig. 1

MARCH 2020 // dentaltown.com

DT0320_Rosenfeld_SYW_AG.indd 28

2/18/20 2:16 PM


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Dentaltown March 2020

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