Many factors influence the oral health of the older patient. For this reason, the assessment phase of the appointment is crucial to successful treatment.

At the initial appointment, the history should be obtained in a comfortable, quiet setting free from loud background music or sounds. Do not hurry or present a long series of questions. Treating the patient with courtesy and respect will increase patient trust and contribute to obtaining an accurate history.

Some older adults may need extra time to process and respond to questions. Rushing through a medical/dental/social history will not only prove frustrating but may produce incomplete or inaccurate answers to needed information.

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