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Kari Lindefjeld's Fundraiser:

Sonrisa Sana

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Kari Lindefjeld


“Sonrisa Sana” is a research-conference on geriatric dentistry for the faculty and dental students based at the Autonomous University Juan Misael Saracho Dental School in Tarija, Bolivia. The project will include both an assessment of the burden of oral disease among the geriatric population and an assessment of training programs for diagnosis and treatment planning of geriatric patients. We also will offer Bolivian faculty a series of lectures to provide a foundation in treating the geriatric patient. The information gleaned from training and the community needs assessments will be used to build a curriculum for dental faculty that addresses the local disease burden and builds off of our experience developing the pre-doctoral geriatric initiative at HSDM. This research-conference is the first step in what is expected to be a sustainable collaboration to improve geriatric oral health, to provide specialized training for Bolivian dentists and to open up research and training opportunities for the collaborators.
Census data of Tarija from 2005-2010, indicates that the growth rate for adults aged 50-79 years old varies between 22-30%, with the highest growth rate at 48% in adults aged 80+ years old. This data supports the need to further train dental faculty and students in the field of geriatric dentistry. Currently, dental schools in Bolivia do not have a pre-doctoral geriatric curriculum. The Dean and faculty of the dental school in Tarija have expressed a strong interest in developing both a pre-doctoral program and continuing education programs in geriatric dentistry as their knowledge in this field is limited.
Through the research-conference on geriatric oral health in June 2014, promoted as a “National Geriatric Conference,” our intention is to increase awareness of oral health in older adults and to help prepare the future dentists of Tarija with meeting the oral health challenges in the growing aging population. We will also provide free dental services to the geriatric population living in the underserved communities in Tarija, Bolivia.
a. Patient education and screening for diabetes, hypertension, and oral health in the elderly.
b. Preventative care - cleanings, fluoride application, intraoral and extraoral screenings
c. Extractions
d. Prosthodontic rehabilitation - complete dentures



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