During the podcast featuring Dr. William Giannobile, Dr. Giannobile briefly mentioned that Harvard School of Dental Medicine has offered a geriatric dentistry program since 1986. The program offers a certificate in geriatric dentistry, a Master of Medical Sciences degree and a Doctor of Medical Sciences degree.
Dentists, a medical health professionals, need to be prepared to treat the fastest growing cohort in the United States - older adults. Oral health providers need to be able to work not only with the patient who may have both physical and mental infirmities but also with their families, caregivers and most importantly other medical healthcare providers. Managing those with multiple chronic conditions requires a mutidisplinary approach.
Harvard School of Dental Medicine received grant funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration to train predoctoral students to work with aging patients. The program addresses the "Four M's Framework - what Matters most, Medication, Mentation and Mobility," as well as the integration of oral health and medical primary care.
The grant will provide students who have a particular interest in treating older adults the opportunity to pursue a community-based oral health track that can lead to meeting the growing need to meet America's aging oral health issues.