The National Dental Centre Singapore (NDCS) officially opened the Geriatric Special Care Dentistry Clinic (GSDC) today.  The one-stop clinic specially caters the elderly and special needs patients. The 10-chair Clinic is equipped with a minor operating theatre, as well as an intra-oral X-ray machine in every room to cut treatment time.

GSDC was designed with age-friendly features to ensure patients can get around the clinic safely. It also has special equipment designed for bed-bound and wheelchair-bound patients, one of them being a dental chair that allows the patient to be treated without getting out of their wheelchair.
One of the clinic's features is the wheelchair-friendly dental chair that allows the patient to remain in the wheelchair during dental treatment

Associate Professor Poon Choy Yoke, Director of National Dental Centre Singapore said, “Geriatric conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease can affect an individual’s ability to care for their oral hygiene, increasing the risk of periodontal (gum) disease.

“In addition, their diminished ability to communicate and co-operate with dental professionals can make treatment more difficult. Special needs patients also face similar challenges. Healthcare professionals at the GSDC have been specially trained to handle such behavioural issues and care for the oral health needs of these patients.”

To address the ageing population, the clinic is planning to train more healthcare professionals in this new specialty. At the opening, Minister for Health Mr Gan Kim Yong announced that MOH has offered scholarships in geriatric and special needs dentistry.
He said, “With an ageing population, we must also incorporate oral health and dental care as part of the overall strategy in enabling good health for our citizens, especially our seniors.”

As part of the SingHealth Regional Health System, GSDC opens opportunities for stronger partnership with community partners. It will be working with the Tanglin-Cairnhill constituency to provide oral hygiene education, screening and care for the elderly and their caregivers.

Since the start of operations in late 2015, GSDC has already seen more than 4,000 patients. At full capacity, NDCS expects to see 12,000 patient attendances per year at the clinic.