Fitting the pieces together: treatment planning in the geriatric dental patient.

T. E. Johnson, S. K. Shuman, J. C. Ofstehage

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Treatment planning older patients often becomes a complex process as dental professionals, patients, family, and caregivers attempt to prioritize and balance the influences of multiple age-associated dental, systemic, and psychosocial factors. To assist clinicians in identifying and weighing numerous factors that can influence planning dental care for older patients, clinicians should be wary of relying on chronological age as a factor, but should focus on the issues of biologic age and life expectancy, which may be greater than many older adults believe. The longevity of dental interventions is another factor that is helpful to consider in determining the most appropriate treatment plan for older adults. Among many issues influencing the treatment planning process, the quality of communication between clinicians and older patients is critical, along with the influence of third parties, including families and professional caregivers. Due to the lack of objective information on the outcomes of dental care in the older population, clinicians inevitably face many situations in which there is uncertainty about the best course of therapy. Practitioners can adopt specific strategies to help minimize difficulties that may be associated with the provision of care under such circumstances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)945-959
Number of pages15
JournalDental clinics of North America
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1997


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