The OralLongevity™ initiative is a multi-faceted three-year campaign aimed at addressing the oral health needs of older adults. Launched in September 2007, the campaign is made possible through a grant from GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare (GSKCH) which has partnered with the American Dental Association (ADA) and the ADA Foundation (ADAF) to create educational resources and innovative programs targeting the special oral needs of an aging population.
According to the U.S. Administration on Aging, the population of Americans older than 65 years is expected to double to about 71 million by 2040. What’s more, the population of Americans older than 85 years is expected to increase to 9.6 million by 2030.
A growing percentage of these adults are semi-dependent. The OralLongevity resources are designed to support the dental profession by assisting older adults and their caregivers in maintaining oral health for life. More information and program materials can be found in the Educational Resources section below.
As people live longer and retain more natural teeth, the complexity of their treatment increases. Geriatric dentistry includes, but is not limited to, the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of caries and periodontal disease, as well as oral mucosal diseases, head and neck pain, salivary dysfunction and impaired chewing, tasting and swallowing. For research and clinical articles focused specifically on treating these conditions in older adults, visit the Research and Clinical Publications section below.
Articles on topics related to OralLongevity frequently appear in ADA publications. Links to these articles are available under In the News. Copies of press releases related to OralLongevity that have been issued by the ADA are also found in this section.
For local outreach and publicity, a sample press release that can be customized by the dental professional is available under Support Tools. Additional tools for use in conjunction with OralLongevity educational activities can be found in the Support Tools section.
The OralLongevity campaign is made possible through a generous grant from GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare which has partnered with the American Dental Association and the ADA Foundation to create educational resources and innovative programs targeting the special needs of an aging population.
The primary tools available through the OralLongevity program are an educational brochure for patients and a menu-driven English and Spanish DVD for dentists and their patients. The brochure and DVD include the following topics:
- Changes that happen in the aging mouth
- Relationship between health and keeping teeth
- Links between the mouth and body
- Disease and the mouth
- Ways to take care of the mouth
- Ways to help older adults when they have difficulty taking care of themselves
The DVD may be used in several ways, including:
As a continuous loop on a DVD player in the waiting room
As the basis of an exhibit at community health fairs
As a presentation to patients in nursing homes or other senior facilities
The DVD is designed in a modular format that can be presented in its entirety or in selected individual chapters—depending upon the audience and location.
Research & Clinical Publications Related to OralLongevity
Mature adults present the dental professional with complex treatment planning challenges. Oral health care providers will need to continue to educate themselves about the medical problems facing older Americans. A supplement to the September 2007 issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association featured a collection of articles that focus on issues of concern in OralLongevity:
In 2006, the ADA House of Delegates unanimously passed Resolution 5H, an ambitious group of 26 initiatives to address the oral health issues of vulnerable elders. One of those initiatives was to conduct a survey “to collect current data from general dentists and specialists on the care they are providing for vulnerable elders in a variety of practice settings.” CAPIR is pleased to announce that the report Oral Health Care of Vulnerable Elderly Patients Survey was successfully conducted and analyzed in collaboration with the ADA’s Survey Center.
- Download the 2007 Oral Health Care of Vulnerable Elderly Patients Survey (PDF)
The OralLongevity program has developed support tools to use with patients and to enhance the DVD presentation directed to senior audiences and caregivers. Chief among these is an OralLongevity Question and Answer brief that can be copied and distributed as a hand out directly to patients and caregivers. This is an excellent leave-behind when using the OralLongevity DVD as part of a community outreach program.
Another support tool for the dental practitioner is a sample news release (DOC) that can be customized and personalized by the individual dental professional. This news release can be sent to media contacts at local newspapers and TV stations, such as calendar editors, health reporters and public service directors, to promote educational initiatives in the community.
In the News
ADA publications regularly report on OralLongevity news. These articles discuss program updates as well as showcase how individual dental professionals are successfully utilizing the OralLongevity materials in their practices and communities.
- AADA Offers Senior Smiles Kits (March 10, 2008)
- ADA named to Associations Advance Honor Roll (Jan. 24, 2008)
- Treating Older Adults (Jan 7, 2008)