Bulletin of Dental Education

Interprofessional Symposium Focuses on Health Issues of Older Adults

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The Oral Health America 2009 Symposium, "Collaborative Health Care for Older Adults: A Symposium for Creating Dialogue Between Medicine and Dentistry," took place on October 16, 2009, at the New York Academy of Sciences. Medical, dental, and academic communities came together to discuss health issues affecting older Americans. They focused on long-term solutions to improve patient outcomes, enhance the quality of health care delivery, and lower health care costs for older people.

Dr. Marie Bernard, Deputy Director of the National Institute on Aging, opened the symposium with her keynote address, "Health and Aging-Opportunities for Medical/Dental Collaboration." She provided a summary of research findings from the National Institute on Aging and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, and she discussed the application of the evidence to the care of the elderly population.

The symposium's three sessions addressed topics including identifying pain, pharmacologic treatment, and pain management in elderly patients; developing strategies to help train oral health care providers to more effectively address the unique dental needs of older patients; and the future of dental and craniofacial tissue engineering and the commercialization of related products.

You can read more about the 2009 symposium on the New York Academy of Sciences website (www.nyas.org) in the December 2009 eBriefings publication.

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