Specialist dental clinic for elderly with medical, cognitive conditions opens at Alexandra Hospital

James Eaton

SINGAPORE – Retired carpenter Lim Bok Sim, 66, was not eager on owning his tooth taken off in spite of it staying terribly decayed.

But he needed to have it handled as he suffers from osteoporosis, a health-related affliction in which bones turn out to be brittle and fragile, putting him at a larger possibility of tooth reduction, and a bad lengthy-phrase end result must it be still left untreated.

His fears had been allayed at a new expert geriatric dental clinic at Alexandra Medical center (AH) to control and take care of the dental challenges of aged sufferers with pre-current or cognitive and other persistent ailments. 

Set up by the National College Centre for Oral Wellbeing Singapore (NUCOHS), the $2 million satellite clinic at AH makes it practical for these senior individuals to request preventive and restorative dental treatment.

It is the first these types of specialist clinic to address the far more than 159,000 grownups above 65 several years aged residing in western Singapore.

About 27.7 per cent, or 44,000, of these seniors have diabetes, hyperlipidemia and hypertension.

Siting the clinic at AH will help as the healthcare facility previously has a programme aiding seniors with age-relevant cognitive, practical and mobility troubles.

Primary non-surgical administration and oral cleanliness instruction, and minimally invasive procedures these kinds of as tooth decay administration and extractions, will be supplied to restore the oral health of aged sufferers. 

These are seniors who are not acceptable to be noticed by regular dentists for the reason that of existing health-related situations this sort of as diabetes, dementia and most cancers, which require distinctive concerns and remedy ideas.

It is a small-recognized simple fact that oral disorder in seniors can raise the threat and worsen the regulate of typical circumstances like diabetic issues, hypertension, coronary heart disease and long-term obstructive pulmonary sickness, explained AH main government Jason Phua.

This worsens their quality of lifetime, he added.

“This is why we have designed the NUCOHS Dental Clinic @ AH inside our clinic, where dental professionals and other experts and associates of our group can operate with each other as just one to care for seniors, both equally hospitalised and from the community,” he stated.

This is in line with AH’s identification as an integrated common medical center delivering holistic care, wherever all the wants of a human being are regarded as, and fighting from “fragmented treatment in which diverse gurus independently concentration on diverse organs somewhat than the human currently being in front of them”, Dr Phua said.

About the measurement of two 5-space Housing Board flats, the clinic has five cure rooms geared up with specialised geriatric dental devices these types of as a wheelchair-tilter to enable individuals with mobility problems to keep on being in their wheelchairs throughout treatment.

Other services include en-suite radiographic products and hoists to safely transfer people when needed. The clinic is in a position to accommodate bed-sure clinic clients taken down on trolley beds from their wards for remedy. 

The expert dentists at the clinic treat gum disorders, loose and lacking teeth, and chewing issues, as nicely as deal with dentures and suffering reduction.

Operational since March and now looking at an normal of about 80 clients a week, the expert dental clinic was officially opened by Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Health Rahayu Mahzam on Monday.

“As we deal with the issues of a swiftly ageing population, there is a need to area additional emphasis on prevention and suitable intervention,” she mentioned at the opening.

One in four older people in Singapore will be 65 many years old and higher than by 2030.

She cited Project Silver Display and the Countrywide Dental Centre Singapore’s Oral Health and fitness Movement 8020 and Tele-Dentistry Oral Care for Seniors as illustrations of programmes aimed at increasing the oral overall health of more mature older people and encouraging them retain at the very least 20 of their all-natural teeth outside of the age of 80.

Madam Rahayu added that it is crucial to raise obtain to dental treatment in the local community for Singapore’s ageing populace, primarily all those with numerous professional medical ailments, to facilitate their co-management throughout dental, health-related and other allied health care pros.

The NUCOHS Dental Clinic @ AH offers specialised geriatric dental treatments at subsidised costs when patients are referred by polyclinics.

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