British Society of Gerodontology

The British Society of Gerodontology is a professional society for dentists and members of the dental team. The stated aim of the society is to protect, maintain and improve the oral health of older people. This is achieved by providing a forum to further knowledge and increase awareness relating to the oral health, dental needs and treatment of older adults. The society holds two meetings per year when members of various dental specialities and professionals complementary to dentistry come together to consider and exchange information on the oral health care of older adults. BSG is also involved in the development of undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in gerodontology. It motivates and fosters relations with other health care professionals, social service workers, charitable organisations, voluntary agencies and carers for the benefit of older people, thereby enhancing health promotion.

29 September 2017
Health, Membership Organisations, Education Sector, Hospitals and Hospital Trusts, Medical, Research Sector

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

Good oral health has positive benefits for health, dignity and self-esteem, social integration and general nutrition. The impact of poor oral health can be profound. People with dementia experience the same oral health problems as the general population. However, their oral health can be compromised by the nature of dementia. The experience of the dental team in providing oral care for people with dementia and the extent to which dental professionals understand the nature of dementia, influences the quality of oral health care provided. The capability of carers to recognise and report oral health problems, thereby initiating oral care, is of paramount importance. BSG promote ‘Dementia Friendly Dentistry’, education and training of the dental team and carers and health professionals, plus the use of oral risk assessment tools, which are essential to ensure optimal oral health for people with dementia. BSG publish guidelines have been developed to assist in the development of local standards for, and the provision of, oral health care for people with dementia who may struggle to, or may reach a stage when they no longer have the ability to; voice their needs for oral health care and treatment; carry out daily oral hygiene to a level that prevents dental disease; make informed choice, and give valid consent for treatment.

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

The key challenges we face in delivering for people with dementia and their family carers include: There is wide regional variation in availability and access to special care dental services across the UK. In many services there has been a reduction in funding and support for professional development, including seeking dementia specialist knowledge and skills Where oral care training is available from the dental team, there may be a lack of a mandate for health care staff, practitioners and professionals to have dementia -specific knowledge and skills and care staff education or training may be inadequately supported or funded. Promotion of the need for Dementia Awareness, Knowledge and Skills in undergraduate and postgraduate dental education and in wider political dental policy.

Member website

2. Actions

  • To promote, review and update the Guidelines for Development of Local Standards of Oral Health care for people with Dementia

    These guidelines were published in 2006, funded by the Department of Health, they have been well received and widely used. 

    These guidelines are being reviewed and updated by members of the Oral Health Promotion group of the British Society of Gerodontology. 

     They will be published to society members and more widely on the website and with  them and will include collaborative working with the Alzheimer's Disease Society. 


    2017 - Third Quarter Update

    The guidelines have been reviewed and literature search has been completed.  The sections have been allocated for writing and editing.

  • Development of robust oral care pathways for people with dementia especially after early diagnosis

    Raising awareness within general dental practice of the benefit of early diagnosis.Describing referral and oral care pathways for people with Dementia for general dental practitioners.Development of oral care pathways for people with Dementia including at different stages of disease.Professional journal publication and National BSG Guidelines.



    2017 - Third Quarter Update

    Consultation with National Stakeholder groups and organisations

    Consultation on guidance for dental professionals in care for patients with Dementia

    Contribution to NICE guidelines on Oral Care in Care Homes

    Involvement with National Dementia Friendly Dentistry Meeting, National Networking and Strategic Working group

    2016 - First Quarter Update

    National Professional conference fo General Dental practitioners, Special Care dentists and members of the dental team.

    Quality Matters? Improving Quality of Oral Care of people with Dementia

    2015 - Second Quarter Update

    Presentation for General Dental Practitioners at National British Dental Association Annual Conference Dementia: Understanding how it affects us and the impact it has on our patients and their care

    2014 - Third Quarter Update

    Article publication in British Dental Journal, Sept 2014,  to raise awareness of genenral dental practitioners. "Forget me not-The role of the genenral dental practitioner in dementia awareness".  Article argues dental practioners are well placed to spot early signs of dementia, stresses importance of timely dementia diagnosis, outlines care in general dental practice, provides recommendations on making dental practice more dementia friendly.

  • Development and Publication of Mouthcare resources for people with Dementia

    Development of an easy read Mouthcare leaflet for people with Dementia and their carers.

    Updating the Mouthcare factsheet for the Alzheimer's Disease Society with evidence based information in appropriate format.


    2017 - Third Quarter Update

    Due to revisit this piece of work next year with the Dementia DVD

    2016 - First Quarter Update

    Oral health resource list published on BSG website

    2015 - Third Quarter Update

    Factsheet updated

    2014 - Third Quarter Update

    Awaiting publication team to establish date for review of guidline leaflet.  Authors agreed to prepare draft.

  • Develop Oral Health Promotion DVD Resource for use in Nursing and Residential homes, Looking after the Mouth, for people with Dementia

    The BSG DVD resource - "Care of the Mouth"  on general oral care for carers has been well received and has been used in many nursing homes for training of care staff and nurses.  The feedback has been excellent, often the questions raised specificly relate to practical difficulties staff have providing oral care for people with dementia and the need for more comprehensive training strategies and experience.  The BSG oral health promotion group are developing a DVD resource for use in training of care staff.

    Being implemented

    2017 - Third Quarter Update

    Production of this resource still in process

    2016 - First Quarter Update

    The BSG Oral health promotion group have outlined educational content for the DVD.  The media and technical team has been commissioned and scenarios for the cases chosen.  Filming due summer 2016. 

  • Championing Dementia in development of National Clinical Dental Care and Research

    The members of the British Society of Gerodontology committee are committed to ongoing work on a variety of areas and National projects, contributing their knowledge, expertise and ideas for developing important new commissioning guidance or strategic planning clinical guidelines and in education and research.

    Being implemented

    2017 - Third Quarter Update

    Consulation with National Stakeholder meetings about dental specialisties, championing special care dentistry including care for people with dementia.

    National Dementia Friendly Dentistry meeting, National networking and strategic working group, London

    Consultation with Faculty of Dental Surgery, Royal College of Surgeons, England FDS report on Older People's Oral Health

    Updating of Domiciliary Dental Care Guidelines

    2016 - Second Quarter Update

    Consultation for development of NICE guidelines– Oral health for adults in care homes Published in July 2016

    Contribution to Royal College Surgeons London for ‘Setting the Research Agenda for Dementia and Oral Health

    Presentation at National, International and Regional UK conferences on Living with dementia and oral health

    Recommendation to members of society and their teams to support Dementia friends and Dementia Friendly dental environment

    2016 - First Quarter Update

    BSG president and chair represented BSG at the Public Health England meeting in March 2016 at the Department of Health in London.  PHE thanked BSG for contributing their knowledge, expertise and ideas for developing the important new commissioning guidance document 'Commissioning Better Oral Health for Vulnerable Older People' due to be published later this year.  As chair of the society, Vicki Jones has collated responses on behalf of the society to the NICE draft guideline consultation – Oral health for adults in care homes and to Royal College Surgeons London for ‘Setting the Research Agenda for Dementia and Oral Health, presented in October 2015