Dentistry has come a long way since the early 1800s when barbers were the most likely ones to treat dental issues. Referred to as barber-surgeons, these men would often cause more problems than they fixed by suggesting such things as picking your gums with the bill of an osprey in order to soothe aching teeth.
We are grateful that dentistry has improved since the days of barber-surgeons and osprey picks. However, there still exist challenges to which much of the dental world has yet to catch up.
For the aging population, it can be extremely difficult to travel for dental care.
Thankfully, there are still pioneers in every medical field. Dr. Alisa Kauffman has been offering bedbound dentistry to this growing population for over 30 years. Seeing a problem with very few solutions available, Dr. Kauffman began offering homebound or bedbound dentistry early in her dental career.
And while much of the world relegates dental problems in the elderly to simply ‘not worth the trouble’, Dr. Kauffman believes that treating the dental pain and discomfort in these patients can improve outlook, behavior, and even health of the individual.
If you’re wondering what issues a bedbound dental service might even be able to treat, you may be surprised at the breadth of problems that can be fixed right at a patient’s bedside.
Dentures can prove extremely frustrating to your elderly patient or loved one. If they are too loose, they will continually fall down or out while trying to accomplish such simple tasks as eating and even talking. Over time, this continual irritation can lead to the elderly simply giving up on either activity unless absolutely necessary.
A skilled dentist that provides bedbound dentistry is able to handle this problem with ease. She will either reline the old denture, ensuring proper fit, or fabricate an entirely new one right at the bedside.
Again, another irritation for eating and talking, a broken tooth can also bring with it infection and swollen gums and cheeks. A bedbound dentist is able to assess the situation right away, remove any loose or broken teeth, and determine if infection is present that must be addressed.
A common concern we hear among caregivers for the elderly is that brushing only results in bleeding gums, and the teeth seem to be so coated that they do not clean properly, no matter how hard they try.
In this case, the patient simply needs a deep scaling and prophys. The deep scaling and prophys removes hard calculus below the gums and on the brushing area of the teeth. After this coating has been removed, the bedbound dentist will take time to instruct the caregivers on the proper methods for tooth cleaning for elderly, even offering some tips for making the experience easier for both parties.
These are only a few of the most common treatments given during bedbound dentistry. A house call dentist can also offer such things as fillings, tooth extraction, new dentures and comprehensive preventive care.
Perhaps it’s time to offer your patient or loved one a proper dental checkup through bedbound dentistry services. Put the osprey away and pick up the phone. Your loved one will be thankful you did! Call Dr. Kauffman today at 917-826-6278.
"Hi Dr. Alisa I thought you would want to know that my mother passed away on Saturday afternoon. Thank..."
"Thanks so much for treating my mother. When I woke up in the middle of the night and saw..."
"Thanks so much Dr.Kauffman for the care you provided for my 95 year old mom. In a time whe medical..."
"Alisa I read with great appreciation the article about your mobile dentistry in a magazine Igor shared with me...."
"These testimonials were taken from comments on The Washington Post. “Dr. Kauffman is a real angel. What a..."
"My Dad is 100 years old. He developed dementia a few years ago. Recently his dentures broke in half,..."
"Thanks for publishing the fascinating piece on Dr. Alisa Kauffman . It’s alway refreshing to find..."
"Alisa Kauffman travels the urban frontier alone. She brings attention to a need for the coordination of comprehensive dental/medical..."
"I enjoyed reading ‘House Dentist’. I appreciate that you highlighted the good work that Penn Alum’s do..."
"Congratulations on the fabulous article regarding the life-giving work and comic adventures of Dr. Alisa Kauffman. Such a tremendous..."