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Geriatric dentistry education in European dental schools

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Philip Preshaw


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As the numbers of elderly adults continue to grow within European populations, the need for dental students to be trained in the management of geriatric patients becomes increasingly important. Many dental schools have developed training programmes in geriatric dentistry in response to the changing oral health needs of older adults. The purpose of this on-line survey was to identify the current status of geriatric dentistry education in European dental schools. A questionnaire relating to the teaching of geriatric dentistry was posted on the Internet, and 194 dental schools in 34 European countries were invited to participate. Data from completed questionnaires were submitted to the investigators via email from 82 schools in 27 countries (42% response rate). Thirty-six percent of schools offered a specific geriatric dentistry course that included didactic teaching or seminar groups, 21% taught geriatric dentistry by means of organised presentations in the curriculum, and 36% taught the subject by occasional lectures. 7% of schools did not teach geriatric dentistry at all. A clinical component to the geriatric dentistry curriculum was reported by 61% of schools and 18% reported operating a specific geriatric dentistry clinic within the school. Of those providing clinical geriatric dentistry training, it was provided within the school in 45% of cases, with a further 29% of schools providing training both within the school and at a remote location. Seven percent of schools operated a mobile dental clinic for treating geriatric patients. Twenty-eight percent of schools had a geriatric programme director or a chairman of a geriatric section and 39% indicated that they plan to extend the teaching of geriatric dentistry in the future. Geriatric dental education has clearly established itself in the curricula of European dental schools although the format of teaching the subject varies widely. It is of concern that geriatric dentistry was not taught at all in 7% of schools. No data are available concerning whether or not geriatric dentistry is taught in the 58% non-responding schools.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Preshaw PM, Mohammad AR

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: European Journal of Dental Education

Year: 2005

Volume: 9

Issue: 2

Pages: 73-77

ISSN (print): 1396-5883

ISSN (electronic): 1600-0579

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.


DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0579.2004.00357.x


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