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Oral Solutions NW

Maxillofacial Surgery for Older People: Special Considerations and Challenges

Posted on 6/15/2024 by Oral Solutions NW
Dental ChairAge-related complications and vulnerabilities of older people make any potential surgeries a challenge. Below are some of the special considerations and challenges that come with Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeries(OMS) for older adults.

How Aging Affects Oral and Facial Health

As we age, our bodies undergo big changes that leave lasting effects on our oral and facial health. Bone density and strength gradually reduce past age 40, which affects the stability of the teeth and the jawbone. Additionally, age comes with considerable changes in facial structure, which leave wrinkles, sagging skin, and loss of facial contour.

Moreover, the immune system weakens with age, which not only makes the elderly susceptible to common oral conditions but also increases the risk of infections after OMS surgery. Older people also take longer to heal wounds due to the slowdown in collagen production.

Special Considerations for Older People

Before undergoing any oral and maxillofacial surgery, the surgeon will first conduct various tests to ensure the procedure is successful. These include:

Medical Evaluation

Before anything else, the surgeon will start with comprehensive medical evaluations to identify if a patient has any pre-existing conditions that could affect the surgical outcomes. Because older adults are more likely to take multiple medications and supplements, maxillofacial surgeons also assess the potential interactions between surgical medications and the medications the patient is currently taking.

Nutritional Evaluation

Since quality nutrition is key to wound healing and recovery, the surgeon will do nutritional assessments and provide recommendations for dietary modifications where necessary. This is important as older people are at a higher risk of malnutrition due to medical conditions, poor appetite, or difficulty chewing.

Work With Caregivers

Many older people have cognitive impairment or some form of memory loss. Such patients may have problems understanding or adhering to doctor orders or even taking the necessary precautions for their health. As such, it is often advisable for maxillofacial surgeons to work with caregivers and other healthcare providers to ensure older patients receive the needed assistance throughout the treatment process.

Visit Our Clinic for Quality Care

Oral and maxillofacial surgery can considerably improve the quality of life for older patients. Despite the potential challenges, the surgeries can be successful - you only need proper planning and preparation. Call us to book your appointment today!
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