Dental services for older people
Looking after your teeth and gums is important at any age. Even if you feel there’s nothing wrong, it’s still important to visit your dentist regularly. If you’re on certain benefits you can receive free NHS treatment and may also be eligible for help through the NHS low income scheme.
How can I keep my teeth and gums healthy?
To keep your teeth and gums healthy, it’s important to brush and floss your teeth and to see a dentist regularly.
For some people, toothbrushing and flossing can be difficult because of arthritis or weakness in their arms or hands.
Special handgrips, electric toothbrushes or toothbrushes with a small head may help.
How often should I have a check-up?
Based on the health of your teeth and gums, your dentist will decide how often you should visit them for a check-up; the recommendation is likely to be between 12 and 24 months, although it can be as often as every six months.
Your dentist will make sure there are no problems developing and tell you how to prevent future problems, such as gum disease.
How can I find an NHS dentist?
You can search for a dentist near you using the NHS Direct website. Dentists don’t have specific catchment areas. That means you can find a dentist to suit you in any area, whether that’s your home, work, or another convenient location.
You may find that some dentists have a waiting list for NHS appointments. Others may not be able to take on new NHS patients at all. Contact several practices to find one who can.
If you are struggling to find a dentist, contact your local dental helpline for information about NHS dental care in your area. You can find the telephone number for each health board area on the NHS Wales website.
There are also private dentists and those who offer a mixture of NHS and private appointments. A dentist who has all their NHS slots filled may have private appointments available, but these will be charged differently to NHS appointments.
If you have a medical condition or disability that makes it difficult to use a local dental surgery, there may be a community dental service. These services have easy access into the surgery, or other adaptations suited for people with physical disabilities. They also have dentists who have received training in treating patients with special requirements.
How can I access treatment in an emergency or out of normal working hours?
If you have a regular dental practice, speak to them for advice or call your local dental helpline for details of the nearest available help.
For more information call Age Cymru Advice on 08000 223 444