The proportion of older people continues to grow worldwide. This, along with an increase in the prevalence of oral diseases, will significantly challenge health and social policy planners. Oral health is often neglected in the elderly and oral diseases associated with aging are complex, adversely affecting the quality of life. Identifying the psychopathology or the type of deviation from normality in the elderly, involves the assessment of psychological health and the operation with the psychological health major symptomatology. One of the dentist’s difficulties may be the recognition of a particular disorder in the case of an individual who is accusing a suffering state. The communication between the doctor and the elderly patient, which is the key in geriatric practice, is not optional, because it helps to achieve an efficient medical act in an appropriate, relevant and satisfactory manner for the care of the elderly patient. Discussion with the patient should be appropriate to the level of understanding of the individual elderly person. The patient’s cooperation is essential for any type of dental treatment. The biopsychosocial concept is fundamental to find an optimal treatment for oral diseases. The oral health influences the mental health of patients, changing their self-esteem, mood and satisfaction, even influencing their social life and quality of life. This is an important factor that has a direct influence on the general health and quality of life of older people, fundamental factors for “healthy aging”.
Keywords: oral diseases, psychological characteristics, anxiety, communication, elderly patient.
Address for correspondence:
“Alessandrescu-Rusescu” National Institute for Mother and Child Health, Bucharest, Romania, Academy of Romanian Scientists