Every year more than 2.5 million older Americans may be victims of elder abuse, and in some cases dentists serve as the first line of defense.
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After a thorough examination and diagnosis of oral problems and screening for a linked stress-related disorder, dentists can help patients by referring them to a medical specialist.
"The 'team treatment' between dentist and medical specialist ensures both oral and overall health problems are being treated," explains Edward Grace, DDS, MA, FAGD, co-author of an article on stress-related disorders that appears in the November/December 2002 issue of General Dentistry, the clinical, peer-reviewed scientific journal of the AGD.
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