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Council for Geriatric Dentistry
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Geriatrics Council

Chair: Leonardo Marchini

Vice-Chair: Jennifer Hartshorn

Secretary: Lisa Hou

Treasurer: Karin V. Arsenault



Formerly the Council of Geriatric Dentistry and the American Society for Geriatric Dentistry, ASGD.


If your work includes the expertise required to treat geriatric patients, you should be a member of this Council, even if your work also includes other patients. Please edit your member profile to add an interest in geriatrics.




Recent Publications

  • Dumbuya A, Gomes AF, Marchini L, Zeng E, Comnick CL, Melo SLS. Bone changes in the temporomandibular joints of older adults: A cone-beam computed tomography study. Special Care in Dentistry, 2019. DOI: 10.1111/scd.12441


Aims: To assess the prevalence of degenerative bone changes in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) of older adults using cone beam computed tomography (CBCT), and to verify possible associations between these findings and patient health history. Methods: CBCT scans comprising both TMJs were acquired for 137 patients aged 65+, regardless of TMD status. Images were assessed by two oral radiologists and evaluated for the presence of flattening, erosion, sclerosis, subchondral cysts and osteophytes in the TMJ bony components, and self-reported patient systemic health histories were retrieved from records. Results: There were 59 males, and the mean age was 73.35 ± 6.28. 31.4% had bone changes in both TMJs, and 65.7% had bone changes in at least one side. Bone changes were more prevalent in females, with subchondral cysts (63.3%) and osteophytes (60%) the most common findings. There was a higher prevalence of osteoporosis/osteopenia (38.5%%) and connective tissue disorders (39.8%) in patients with TMJ bone changes than in those with normal TMJs. Conclusion: Degenerative bone changes of TMJ were prevalent among older adults, and females were more affected. There was a greater prevalence of osteoporosis/osteopenia and connective tissue disorders in patients with TMJ bone changes than in subjects with normal TMJs.

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  • Marchini L, Ettinger R,Caprio T, Jucan A. Oral health care for patients with Alzheimer's disease: An update. Spec Care Dentist. 2019;1-12.


Alzheimer's disease and related disorders (ADRD) are among the age-associated chronic conditions that are most challenging to health care systems around the globe, as patients with dementia require full-time, intensive care for multiple years. Oral health care is negatively impacted by cognitive decline, and consequently poor oral health is common among people with ADRD. Poor oral health status is linked with many undesirable consequences for the well-being of people with ADRD, from excruciatinglocal pain to life-threatening conditions, as aspiration pneumonia. In this paper, the authors provide an update on the most current concepts about Alzheimer's disease epidemiology, etiology, and management, current oral health care for patients with Alzheimer's disease, oral health promotion strategies for this population, as well as current research and future direction for improving oral health care for patients with Alzheimer's disease. It concludes that oral health care should be included in the patient's routine health care as early as possible in the progression of Alzheimer's disease for preventing rapid oral health deterioration. Establishing oral hygiene routines and providing dental treatment that is customized to the patients’ individual needs and disease stage are important to achieve good oral health outcomes and prevent quality of life decline.

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  • Leary KS, Marchini L, Hartshorn J, Johnsen DC. An emulation model in critical thinking used to develop learning outcomes in inter professional practice. Clin Exp Dent Res. 2019;17.


 Interprofessional education (IPE) and interprofessional practice (IPP) are essential for the comprehensive care of patients. A goal of this paper is to articulate learning outcomes likely to improve patient outcomes. Yet learning outcomes in IPE are systematically lacking in consistency. Objective: An approach offered here and the main purpose of this paper is to develop and implement an IPE learning outcome by applying emulation concepts from the education literature. In dental situations, emulation has been used to derive the thought process of the expert succinctly enough for the novice to apply to the next patient. Methods: The expert's thought process thus becomes the learning outcome, the learning guide, and the assessment instrument. In IPE/IPP, several experts make up the team. The resulting learning outcome is the collection of key questions from respective health care team members. Team members are primary care, pharmacy, nursing, social work, nutrition, and dentistry. The resulting list of questions has not been reported and was applied to patient planning in a geriatric/special needs clinic. Results: Students were more likely to apply questions from disciplines that were preceded by didactic instructionprimary care, pharmacy, nutrition, and dentistryand less likely to apply questions from nursing and social work. Conclusions: Although still in the early stages, the model is viable to guide learning and assess performance to a level of grasping the concept. The exercise is student led. For the practitioner, the learning outcome becomes the performance outcome. Further model development is ongoing with limited models for comparison.

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  • Flick K, Marchini L. The Interprofessional Role in Dental Caries Management. Dental Clin North Am 2019. DOI: 10.1016/j.cden.2019.05.003.


This article explores psychosocial barriers to dental care and implications for caries management. At-risk populations experience an increased potential for stressors and obstacles that interrupt oral health care and lessen the potential for these groups to pursue dental treatment. These impediments may include financial restrictions, lack of reliable transportation, or inappropriate informed consent. Involving a social worker in dental caries management can help patients to overcome the barriers that hinder oral health care. An increased awareness of these barriers, along with the resources that are available, may help dental providers to better reach their patients and manage dental caries.

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