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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 65-68

Gaps in the teeth: Coming together to address oral needs in the terminally ill

Member, American Dental Association's Council on Ethics, Bylaws and Judicial Affairs; Gratis Faculty Louisiana State University Health School of Dentistry, Private Periodontal Practice in New Orleans, LA, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Kristi M Soileau
3634 Coliseum Street, New Orleans, LA 70115
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/INPC.INPC_28_20

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For the hospice patient needing palliative care, quality of life must encompass all aspects of comfort management. Often, medical and dental professionals and caregivers under their management in both homes and institutions hesitate or simply do not elect to offer oral care for patients nearing the end of life. This may be due to many factors, including difficulties encountered in patient compliance or lack of education as to how and why such care should be delivered to the hospice patient. This article aims to clarify the reasons why the hospice patient, cognizant or not, needs properly and regularly implemented oral care and why both medical and dental professionals have an ethical responsibility to concomitantly address the current void that exists in delivering it.

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