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Continuing Dental Education

CE1974 Improving the Oral Health of Your Older Patients

O. Ross Beirne, DMD, PhD; Bea Gandara, DDS, MSD; Susanne Kölare Jeffrey, DDS, PhD; Kurt Labberton, DDS; and Rod Wentworth, DDS

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In an effort to mitigate the risk of being exposed to the Coronavirus, this course will be postponed. We are working with the speakers to identify a new date.


The University of Washington gratefully acknowledges the Arcora Foundation for its generous educational grant in support of this program.

Course Description

With the baby boom generation reaching 65 years and beyond, this is the first generation of Americans to reach older adulthood with an almost intact natural dentition. While keeping our teeth as we age is a positive trend, increasing lifespans can also result in the onset of chronic conditions, long-term medication usage, and oral diseases that can create complex dental treatment needs and questions on the part of dental professionals on how to care for this population.

Most dentists today received very little formal training in caring for the unique needs of older patients. WDS Foundation engaged a team of national experts in serving older adults, led by Dr. Linda Niessen, DMD, MPH, to develop a course that discusses the importance of treating the oral health needs of independently-living older adults in your office. This course is targeted to general dentists to expand their expertise in delivering optimal dental care to this diverse, and growing, senior population who needs care. The course will include patient cases and discussion to assess treatment options based on the patient’s goals, ability to pay, health status, etc. The course is designed to build confidence in treating older patients, understand patient care options, and increase access to dental care for older adults.

Course Objectives

As a result of completing this course you will be able to:

  • Understand the importance of serving older patients and the growing population of patients that need care.
  • Understand how oral health issues change with age.
  • Enhance understanding in managing the interactions between oral conditions and overall health and the importance of prevention at every age and stage of health.
  • Understand ethical considerations when treatment planning, addressing the issues of when is too much versus not enough dental care.
  • Provide clinical tips associated with senior’s common clinical needs, such as root caries, endodontics, oral surgery, and implants.
  • Gain practical insights on serving more seniors in your office–practice management, scheduling, billing, and other topics.


Dr. BeirneO. Ross Beirne is Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the University of Washington, School of Dentistry and Chief of Hospital Dentistry at the University of Washington Medical Center. He was formerly Assistant Professor and Associate Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco from 1979-1985 and Associate Professor and Director of the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Residency Training Program at the University of Washington from 1985-1999. He served as Chair of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the University of Washington from 1999 to 2010. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and the National Dental Board of Anesthesiology. He served on the Examination Committee of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery from 1997-2001. He is a Fellow of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and the American Dental Society of Anesthesiology. He is a founding member of the National Dental Board of Anesthesiology.

Dr. GandaraBea Gandara is a 1978 graduate of the University of Southern California School of Dentistry in Los Angeles, California. She was a general practice resident at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in La Jolla, California from 1978-79, and a staff dentist at the Edward Royal Comprehensive Health Center in Los Angeles for two years following her residency. In 1981-82, Dr. Gandara was a part-time instructor at the USC dental school and associated in a private practice in Anaheim, California. In 1982, she moved to Seattle, Washington to enter the Oral Medicine specialty program at the University of Washington School of Dentistry, earning her MSD degree in the field of Oral Medicine in 1985. During her studies, she also completed a National Institute of Aging Fellowship in Geriatric Dentistry and a NRSA Fellowship in Salivary Gland Research. She also participated in the Dental Education and Care of the Disabled (DECOD) program in 1985.

Susanne Kölare JeffreySusanne Kölare Jeffrey is a 1984 graduate of the Karolinska Institute School of Dentistry, Stockholm, Sweden. Dr. Jeffrey is a general dentist with additional post-graduate training in immunobiology, neurobiology, and geriatric dentistry. After completing an internship in general dentistry at the Community Health Clinics in Sollentuna, Sweden (1986), Dr. Jeffrey began work in both public and private dental care with a focus on dental treatment of geriatric patients in nursing homes. In 2005, she relocated to the UW as a Ruth Kirschenstein Fellow in salivary gland biology. At the UW School of Dentistry, Dr. Jeffrey teaches oral and general histology, and is the main instructor for geriatric dentistry. She also directs the Senior Center Geriatric Dental Clinic in Lynnwood where she and 4th-year dental students provide care to low-income elderly as part of the school’s geriatric dentistry curriculum. She loves seeing patients, both young and old, in the UW School of Dentistry’s faculty practice.

Dr. LabertonKurt Labberton is a general dentist practicing in Yakima. Dr. Labberton completed a US Navy Dental Residency at Camp Pendleton in 1984 and served aboard the USS Sierra from 1984-86. Prior to dental school, Dr. Labberton was a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and served aboard two nuclear submarines from 1974-1978. He was a member of the UW Dental School Admission Committee from 1979-83 and served as UW Dental School Class President from 1980-83. He was the chairman of the Strategic Planning Committee and the Pacific Northwest Dental Conference and is currently a member of the Pierre Fauchard Dental Academy. Dr. Labberton graduated from the UW School of Dentistry with a DDS Degree. He has been a member of the Washington Dental Service Foundation Board since 2009.

Dr. WentworthRod Wentworth practices general dentistry in Bellevue, Washington and is a 1981 graduate of the University of Washington School of Dentistry. He is affiliate faculty at the University of Washington School of Dentistry teaching Ethics and Professionalism and serves on the New Curriculum Committee as a Thread Champion for Ethics and Professionalism. He has served as chair of the American Dental Association’s Council on Ethics, Bylaws and Judicial Affairs, the Washington State Dental Association’s Committee on Judicial Affairs, Ethics and Peer Review, and Seattle King County Dental Society’s Ethics Committee. He is active in Peer Review at the local level. He has over a dozen publications in the Journal of the American Dental Association’s “Ethical Moment” feature and writes about Ethics for the Washington State Dental Association News, ASDA’s Mouth, and the Oregon Dental Association magazine Membership Matters. Dr. Wentworth is a Fellow of the American College of Dentists, International College of Dentists, and Pierre Fauchard Academy. He is also a member of the American Society for Dental Ethics.

Course Logistics

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Hyatt Regency Lake Washington at Seattle’s Southport
1053 Lake Washington Blvd N
Renton, WA 98056

This course is designed for dentists, but team members are welcome to attend.

Due to the limited attendance at this course, please let us know as soon as possible if your plans change and you are no longer able to attend the course.

Registration and Continental Breakfast: 8:00 – 8:30am
Course: 8:30am – 4:30pm

TUITION – price includes lunch:
Thanks to the educational grant provided by the Arcora Foundation, this course is offered free of charge.

This course is limited to 60 participants.

7 hours


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The University of Washington is an ADA CERP Recognized Provider.
ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of continuing dental education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry.

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The University of Washington is a member of the Association for Continuing Dental Education.

University of Washington designates this activity for 7 continuing education credits.