Chile is experiencing one of the fastest aging processes in Latin America. The implications derived from this phenomenon involve many aspects of the society, especially health care. In particular, insufficient oral health coverage in the country limits oral care provision for a population with a high prevalence and severity of oral diseases. These conditions include dental caries, periodontal disease, tooth loss, defective prostheses, oral mucosa lesions and xerostomia, among others, and strongly affect quality of life of the elderly population. Furthermore, dental curriculum of most dental schools lack specific training of students in geriatric dentistry or gerodontology. Hence, newly graduated professionals are not competent to satisfy the needs of this growing and increasingly demanding population of older adults. Within this demanding context, Chile may find the potential to become a model and referent to deal with the challenge, incorporating innovative changes in education and public health strategies for the older population by an interdisciplinary approach.
Aging; Dental Caries; Chile; Education, Dental: Geriatric Dentistry; Oral Health