Friedman Addresses Elder Oral Health in Rhode Island

Dr. Friedman on the panel and Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth H. Roberts at the podium

In about 15 years, there will be more than 72 million older adults in the US, and most won’t have access to dental care, according to Oral Health America. The Rhode Island Oral Health Commission invited Dr. Paula K. Friedman and others to discuss older adult oral health at its Annual Summit Wednesday, February 12, 2014.

Friedman, who is the Primary Investigator of the Dental Component of the Geriatric  Fellowship and a Professor in the Department of General Dentistry at the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, presented the keynote address, “Saving the senior smile.”

Dr. Friedman’s research involves studying barriers to and strategies for improving access to oral health care for underserved populations. Her activities include conducting oral health screenings for community-based, independently living elders; facilitating oral health in-home consultations for frail, home-bound elders; and assessing levels of satisfaction with services received by student dental plan members.

Other topics on the Annual Summit agenda included a Report on the Medicaid Adult Benefit, Oral Health Care and Our Elders, and an overview of Commission accomplishments in 2013.

The Commission seeks to provide leadership to formulate and promote sound oral health policy, increase awareness of oral health issues, and assist in promotion of initiatives for the prevention and control of oral diseases.