Published: 11-10-2013 00:00 | Updated: 13-02-2014 11:33

New centre for better geriatric dental health

On October 9 2013 the Academic Centre for Geriatric Dental Care in Stockholm was inaugurated. The Centre is located at Stockholms Sjukhem on Kungsholmen and will conduct research, education and dental care with approximately 5,000 patient visits per year.

The Academic Centre for Geriatric Dental Care (Akademiskt Centrum för Äldretandvård, ACT) is the result of a collaboration between Folktandvården (the Public Dental Service) in Stockholm County, the Stockholms Sjukhem Foundation and the Department of Dental Medicine at Karolinska Institutet, which is also the principal authority behind the Centre.

Basic scientific research and clinical research will be conducted at the Centre, as well as basic and advanced training for various dentistry-related professional groups. The training is based on the clinical operations of the Swedish Dental Service and the care environments for geriatric dentistry that exist at Stockholms Sjukhem.

"The combination of research, education and healthcare is very important for our ability to promote better awareness of oral and dental health among senior citizens," says Inger Wårdh, Chief Dental Surgeon, Associate Professor at the Department of Dental Medicine at Karolinska Institutet and Head of the ACT. "It is a challenge for odontological research to improve the current treatment and develop methods for preventing dental diseases in senior citizens."

The Public Dental Service in Stockholm County will be responsible for the dental care at the Centre, with staff experienced in geriatric dental care and approximately 5,000 patient visits per year, which marks an important increase in capacity. The demand for geriatric dental care is expected to increase markedly in the coming years. This is partly due to an increase in the demographic share of senior citizens, but also due to senior citizens generally having more teeth left compared to previous generations. Geriatric patients also request more advanced dental care than previous generations. The introduction of the "third step" of the dental care reform places new demands on the county councils when it comes to offering care to persons with extensive need for dental care due to long-term illness or disability.