Adequate dental care is important for the health of older adults, but the burden of comorbidities can make it challenging for this population to access care. In collaboration with the Dental School of Umm Al-Qura University, the student consultant team developed a program to provide dental services to older adults through a mobile clinic.
Dental disease is a risk factor for chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, cancer, and dementia. Beyond preventing disease, good oral health has a positive impact on an individual’s perceptions of their well-being. Adequate dental care for older adults is vital to maintain this population’s optimal health and enable them to function for as long as possible. As the population in Saudi Arabia ages, there will be an increased need to provide dental services to older adults.
Older adults have a greater burden of comorbidities, making it challenging for them to access dental care to keep their mouth healthy. The Dental School of Umm Al-Qura University (UQUDENT) has procured a mobile dental van to visit communities throughout the Makkah region of Saudi Arabia and provide dental care to older adults. The student consultant team was challenged to develop a program using the mobile van that will expand oral care to older adults and improve data and research activities.
The ultimate goal of the proposed program is provide older adults in Saudi Arabia with access to quality mobile oral healthcare. To accomplish this goal, the mobile clinic will engage caregivers at hospitals and in families, and schedule visits and screenings through a tele-dentistry application. Volunteer general dentists and students on clinical rotations through their universities will provide care at the mobile clinic. This means the mobile clinic will provide opportunities for students to gain competencies and skills in geriatric dental care.
Providing older adults with preventative oral health services at the onset of their symptoms minimizes the likelihood of invasive procedures in the future, ensuring that health resources continue to be properly allocated. This program will also give dental students and healthcare professionals the opportunity to advance their practice through research. As demand for dental care services among older adults increases in the coming years, the program will increase accessibility of oral health services and raise awareness of the importance of oral health.
This project took four months to complete from kick-off meeting to presentation of final deliverables. Click the button below for a detailed timeline.View Project Timeline