Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Caring for the Old Isn’t New

Edward Cheppa, DMD

Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Restorative Dentistry/Comprehensive Care, School of Dental Medicine, University of Pittsburgh

Edward Cheppa, DMD


This course introduces and discusses the multidisciplinary health care philosophy necessary for the practice of geriatric dentistry today. Since the effects of diet, trauma, wear, physical and pharmacological comorbidities are cumulative; the older patient presents special challenges for the dental practitioner. The purpose of this course is to increase the sensitivity of the dental team to the concerns of an aging population. Participants will obtain a creative and innovative approach to provide a better service to the geriatric population.

Topics include:

  • Population trends
  • Theories of aging
  • Identifying depression & dementia
  • Geriatric pharmacology
  • The multidisciplinary health care delivery team
  • Levels of care for the geriatric patient
  • Tips for educating the staff in the cleaning of natural teeth and prosthetics
  • Commonly encountered pathology
  • Caries management & treatment planning
  • Tips for treating the geriatric patient in a non-traditional health care setting
  • Importance of lifelong learning


Upon completion of this course, participants will:

  • recognize the importance of the older patient to their practice
  • learn how the biology of aging affects dentition and the theories of aging
  • understand how to assess a patients’ functional status and how it relates to their dental treatment
  • be able to recognize commonly encountered pathology
  • understand how cumulative comorbidities affect treatment of the geriatric patient
  • learn how better communication with other members of the health care community will bring about a more rewarding practice
  • understand why geriatric dentistry is a multidisciplinary specialty
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