Gerodontology teaching program at the geriatric dental clinic in Yad Sarah

A. Zini*, J. Pietrokovsky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: World demographic changes show an increase in the elderly population worldwide. Due to increase in life span, the continuously growing elderly population requires extra attention. This has a great effect on private medical practice. A long term result is the necessity of training dentists in the practice of geriatric dentistry. Geriatric patients have problems that are age dependent, general health problems and specific dental problems. These problems require special skills on the part of the dentist. Yad Sarah has undertaken responsibility for this important task and provides dentists with a geriatric dental (gerodontology) training program. Elderly patients in need of geriatric dental treatment are served in both stationary and mobile clinics. The program includes both theoretical and practical studies. For this purpose, the Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Dental Medicine and Yad Sarah have created a three-year program at the end of which the dentists, working voluntarily, receive a diploma in geriatric dentistry. The purpose of the present study is to evaluate the teaching program in the past few years. METHODS: All the lectures given in the program from 2001 to 2005, both theoretical and practical, have been summarized and categorized by subject. RESULTS: In 2001-2002, the teaching program was theoretical only. Starting from 2003 practical studies were added to the program so that now it includes both theoretical and practical studies. The results presented do not include the many clinical teaching hours during supervised treatment that are given privately to the dentists, from the preparation of the dental treatment plan until the conclusion of treatment. The result shows a steady increase in teaching hours during the years 2001-2005. Not only has the quantity increased; the content has changed too, because of the changes in the needs and the character of work in the geriatric dentistry field. The increasing activity through the mobile dental clinic for homebound patients has led to stepped up teaching in subjects that are related to this kind of treatment, such as oral medicine, systemic disease and oral rehabilitation relating to at-home treatment. The increase in implant treatments created the need to train the dentists in the surgical and rehabilitative aspects of care. The area of oral medicine (26%) and oral rehabilitation (24%) received the most teaching hours, while endodontics (4%) received the least. CONCLUSIONS: The teaching program at Yad Sarah is need-dependent--needs of the patients and of the volunteer dentists as well. At Yad Sarah the dentists come to volunteer, to give needy people quality dental treatment that they cannot afford themselves at regular clinics. An additional motive of these dentists is to advance themselves professionally. The Yad Sarah Dental Clinic offers a unique teaching program that contributes to enhancing knowledge in gerodontology. As the needs at the clinic change, so does the teaching program.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)31-34, 73
JournalRefuat Hapeh Vehashinayim
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2006
Externally publishedYes


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