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Dr Mark Schifter

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Miscellaneous Information:
An Approach to the Dental Assessment and Management of the Aged and Medically Compromised Patient

Saturday, 15 September - 11:15am

The Australian population is getting older. On average, women can expect to live to 85 years of age and men, 81 years of age, with one of the fastest growing demographic subgroups being those aged 65 or more.   However, the age of onset of the major chronic diseases, in particular the cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and the neurodegenerative disorders has remained unchanged , between the ages of 40-60 years; consequently with the aging of the population, there are more patients with chronic disease and the associated morbidity and poly-pharmacy.  Coupled with this major demographic change has been declining edentulism, a growing expectation by patients of having their teeth from the cradle to the grave, or taking advantage of the advances in dental implant technology to replace teeth lost to wear and tear, caries and periodontal disease.  Consequently oral health providers face a challenge, given the increasing number of older, frail or medically-complex patients, retaining their teeth, now much later in life, so then needing teeth to be extracted, when their teeth fail or are seeking to have them replaced, by implants.   How do we approach the dental care of such patients?  This presentation will aim to remind the clinician of the proven, sound, straight-forward approaches that we know are able to address the needs of our ever increasingly aged and medically-complex patients.  

Emphasis will be given to the fundamentals: sound history taking, understanding of disease using physiological systems based approach, making sense of our patients’ various medications and their potential adverse effects on the dentition and/or the safe provision of dental care and ensuring we provide to our patients a dentition that they can best maintain with the view to negate the need for highly invasive dental procures as they approach late old age.  

A/Prof. Schifter is Staff Specialist at Westmead Hospital, a position he has held for over 18 years, with clinical appointments in the Westmead Centre for Oral Health, Blood and Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, Oral Immunology Clinic and Head and Neck Cancer Clinic.  Mark has been Head of the Department of Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology and Special Care Dentistry for close on 20 years. Mark is also a Co-Director of Training of the specialist oral medicine training program for the Faculty of Dentistry, University of Sydney, having contributed to the training of all the current oral medicine specialists in NSW.  He is specialist private practice with the Skin Hospital, Darlinghurst and also holds an appointment with the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.

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National Convention Centre Canberra