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Referring older people in home care for a dental appointment

The fourth process in helping to improve an older person's oral health is dental referral. This is based on the outcome of the oral health assessment which identified the older person as experiencing oral health problems.

Many older people find it difficult to access dental care. Reasons for this relate to physical and cognitive impairment as well as difficulties with transport. Past negative experiences, anxiety and dissatisfaction with dental services and affordability of dental care are also barriers.

Older people may need support to help them to attend their dental appointment. This may require prior planning and case management to coordinate issues such as transport, guardian consent, escort and interpreters. The dental professional will also require information such as current medical and medication information before they can proceed with a dental examination and treatment.

Self learning activity

Find out how to refer an older person to a dental professional and what you need to do when case managing an older person’s dental visit.

Seeing a dental professional

Seeing a dental professional (PDF 4111KB) explains dental referral pathway processes and provides a dental visit checklist which includes the need for information such as consent, current medical history and medications, appropriate concession cards and consideration of the need for an escort or assistance with transport.

 

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