Teaching of gerodontology to dental and dental hygiene therapy students in the UK

Georgina M. Prosser, David R. Radford, Chris Louca

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Abstract

Introduction The demographic shift in the age profile of the UK is now well established. Older people have more complex requirements to maintain their oral health and appropriate training is required to provide good-quality oral and dental care. This research aimed to review the training in gerodontology currently being provided to undergraduate dental and dental hygiene therapy (DHT) students in the UK.Methods Quantitative data were generated through completion of an online questionnaire, emailed to the directors of dental education in each of the UK dental (n = 16) and DHT schools (n = 21). Data were analysed using IBM SPSS Statistics V26.Results There was a response rate of 37.5% from dental schools and 61.9% from DHT schools. Although gerodontology was being taught in every school that responded, it was only a standalone course in 16.7% of dental schools and 7.7% of DHT schools that responded. While all respondents reported a theoretical component, only 50% of dental schools and 53.8% of DHT schools reported providing clinical experience. Moreover, 33.3% of dental schools and 15.4% of DHT schools reported closely following the European curriculum guidelines in gerodontology.Conclusions The current training in gerodontology is not standardised across either dental or DHT schools in the UK and there seems to be a lack of awareness of the recommended European guidelines. The findings from this research demonstrate that future improvements in gerodontology training are still required for this to be achieved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)813-818
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Dental Journal
Volume232
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2022

Keywords

  • aged
  • curriculum
  • education, dental
  • humans
  • oral hygiene
  • students
  • surveys and questionnaires
  • teaching
  • United Kingdom

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