care for the whole individual, not
just from the dental perspective
Ontario Retirement Communities Association
Direct Dentistry Services teams are experienced in serving the unique needs of seniors in long-term and retirement care settings. Our treatment model emphasizes care for the whole individual, seeing patients not just from the dental perspective, but considering what is appropriate for them at their stage of life.
Care begins before the treatment date, when we inform and obtain consent from responsible parties (usually the patient or a family member with power-of-attorney).
The treatment, first and foremost, gives the patient a clean mouth and identifies any dental issues they may have. The dentist then prepares a full report, which is provided to caregivers and responsible parties. Dental issues are identified as either urgent or to be monitored, and suggested treatments as either to be done on-site or referred out. It is up to the responsible party to decide what to do next.
The “to be monitored“ category is very important, in avoiding unnecessary procedures. With the continuity of care we provide, changes in a condition can be tracked, allowing informed decisions on appropriate treatment.
For example, if we find cavities that are not bothering a patient, we may suggest a treatment option of monitoring them, rather than necessarily filling them immediately. But in the case of an urgent issue, such as one causing pain, infection or difficulty eating, we work with the family and the facility to resolve the problem quickly.
Treatment options are based on what is age- and health-appropriate, and an understanding of the patient’s medical history. We have found this to be very important in working with seniors and their families, who often ask what treatments are absolutely necessary, wishing to minimize the stress and discomfort of some dental procedures.