Dental Tribune Europe

Interview: “We usually think of rehabilitation as the responsibility of the clinician”

By Franziska Beier, Dental Tribune International
September 12, 2019

As the percentage of older people in the population is growing, the number of elderly people depending on dental implants is increasing. Dental Tribune International spoke with Prof. Jocelyne Feine from the Faculty of Dentistry at McGill University in Montreal in Canada about the challenges of implant procedures in older people and how patients can contribute to the healing process. Feine will speak about the topic at the EAO 2019 congress, which will be held from 26 to 28 September in Lisbon, in Portugal.

Prof. Feine, you will be giving a lecture on identifying the best treatment options for older patients. On what topics will you focus during your presentation?
I will share with the audience the factors that edentate older patients consider to be important regarding their prostheses. With that information, consideration of the most appropriate types of prostheses and number of implants can be discussed.

Why is implant treatment in elderly patients possibly more challenging?
Elderly adults tend to have many chronic conditions and often take numerous medications that can interfere with the osseointegration process. They may also have physical restrictions that may make maintenance of oral hygiene difficult.

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How can elderly patients who have received dental implants contribute to the rehabilitation process?
This is an interesting question, since we usually think of rehabilitation as the responsibility of the clinician. However, unless the patient is motivated and able to maintain his or her oral hygiene, treatment will fail. Thus, it is important for clinicians to assess their older patients’ motivation, as well as their ability to clean their mouths, the abutments, etc.

Editorial note: Prof. Feine will be presenting her paper during the “Implant rehabilitation in older patients” session at 15:15–16:45 on 26 September.

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