September 11th, Dental Care for Older Adults with Dementia, Depression, and other Disabilities


Samuel Zwetchkenbaum, DDS, MPH

Audience: Indian Dental Association of North America- New Jersey

Location and Date: JFK Medical Center, Edison, NJ. September 11, 2016, 9-12 AM

Please click here for registration information and more!

Bio: Dr. Samuel Zwetchkenbaum is Clinical Assistant Professor at Rutgers School of Dental Medicine (RSDM) and provides the didactic course in Geriatric Dentistry. He is the director of Senior Dental Solutions of NJ, LLC, providing care for older adults in long-term care using portable dental equipment.  Sam completed in 2014 a Fellowship in Geriatric Dentistry at the New Jersey Institute for Successful Aging, a joint program through the Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine and RSDM. He was raised in Providence, R.I., received his bachelor’s degree from Brown University andhis DDS from the University of North Carolina. Sam did hisgeneral practice residency at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis and then returned to Providence where he worked both in a community health center and at the Jewish Home for the Aged of Rhode Island. He then pursued and received certificates in Prosthodontics from RSDM and Maxillofacial Prosthodontics from M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Sam was clinical faculty in Hospital Dentistry at University of Michigan and director of the General Practice Residency program from 1995 to 2012.


Abstract: With our aging population increasing in number and maintaining their dentition, it is highly likely that dentists will spend an increasingly significant amount of time providing care for older patients, including those with dementia, depression and other disabilities. This presentation will review our current knowledge of these conditions, with a focus on Alzheimer’s disease and the complexity of care for patients with this illness. Special attention will be given to modifications to care necessary for patients who demonstrate either memory loss or care-resistant behavior. We will also discuss different care settings for people with disabilities and ways dentists can play roles in both providing care and educating staff. Recommendations for treatment planning and preventive approaches will be reviewed.


At the end of the presentation, the learner will be able to:

• Describe what is dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, discuss diagnosis, and review current research into prevention and treatment
• Discuss importance of assessing memory status in a patient with dementia, and review communication strategies for the dental team, including successful approaches for those with care-resistant behavior
• Discuss depression in older adults, including causes and impact on oral and overall health.
• Discuss successful models for improving oral health for those with disabilities, including those in long-term care.

Length of presentation: 2.5 hours


1. What is dementia
a. Definitions, types
b. Impact on caregivers
2. Tests for dementia— what can we learn from them.
a. Communication strategies for patients with dementia, including care-resistant behavior (Jablonski video)
3. Depression
a. Epidemiology, etiology and impact
b. Simple screening to assess need for referral
c. Therapies, including medications
i. Strategies for older adults with xerostomia
4. Other disabilities and impact on oral health
a. Parkinson’s disease
b. Stroke
5. Summary- Aging and wisdom