Oral health delivery systems for older adults and people with disabilities

Spec Care Dentist. 2013 Jul-Aug;33(4):177-89. doi: 10.1111/scd.12038. Epub 2013 Jun 10.


This article describes new oral health care system models designed to meet the needs of a rapidly growing population of older adults and people with disabilities. These populations are not currently able to access traditional dental offices and clinics to the same degree that younger and much healthier population groups do. So new models proactively target specific community organizations where these high-risk underserved population groups live, work, go to school, or obtain other health or social services. Collaborative on-site and clinic-based teams establish "Virtual Dental Homes" that provide ongoing, year-round access to oral health services designed to prevent mouth infections, deliver evidence-based preventive care, and restore infected individuals to stable and sustainable oral health. These new delivery models are beginning to demonstrate better health care delivery, better health outcomes, and the potential to drive down total health care costs for older adults and people with disabilities.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Checklist
  • Community Networks / organization & administration
  • Cost Control
  • Delivery of Health Care*
  • Delivery of Health Care, Integrated / organization & administration
  • Dental Care for Aged* / economics
  • Dental Care for Aged* / organization & administration
  • Dental Care for Disabled* / economics
  • Dental Care for Disabled* / organization & administration
  • Evidence-Based Dentistry
  • Health Care Costs
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Medically Underserved Area
  • Oral Health
  • Organizational Objectives
  • Patient-Centered Care / organization & administration
  • Preventive Dentistry
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States
  • Vulnerable Populations