The Senior Smiles team know from experience that the only way to improve oral health for our frail and elderly living in Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACF) is to provide on-site preventive oral health care delivered in the ‘Senior Smiles’ preventive model of care by qualified oral health therapists or dental hygienists practitioners.
The Senior Smiles program is supported by years of research and operational experience that shows residents need an oral health practitioner within the RACF to advocate for good oral health care as part of holistic health care.
Residents often enter the RACF environment because they need assistance with their daily care needs, this includes oral health care. Helping residents to manage their own oral hygiene care and empowering the RACF staff to help the residents is all part of the Senior Smiles program.
The Senior Smiles practitioners develop referral pathways to local dentists and dental prosthetists to ensure the residents have access to timely dental care both at the RACF and in the community. This model builds strong capacity with the local community public sector and the private sector dentists close to the RACF. The Senior Smiles practitioner then refers the residents to the appropriate dental provider depending on their eligibility. The Senior Smiles practioners advocate for the resident, manage the initial paperwork, liaise with family members and RACF staff to get the resident the absolute best dental care as quickly as possible.
Senior Smiles is the triage program that provides preventive oral care on-site in the RACF, identifies oral health and dental needs and actions the appropriate referral to resolve dental pain and infection for our most frail and elderly.
The Senior Smiles program is a model of care that maximises the dental team with each member of that dental team providing the appropriate care for residents.