Palliative Oral Care

June 4, 2024

Join us for an engaging, collaborative webinar as we delve into the vital topic of palliative oral care. Palliative oral care is essential for anyone (at any age) who is dependent on others  or who face serious health-related suffering.  Due to frailty and life-limiting illnesses, oral care for residents in long-term care (LTC) is paramount to help maintain dignity, wellbeing and person-centered care throughout all stages of life.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses expressed feelings of burnout. This emphasized the urgent need for collaboration among all healthcare professionals to ensure adequate support for caregivers and accessible care for BC residents.

Dental hygienists (DHs) play a pivotal role in maintaining oral health and are dedicated to maintaining competence in supporting the evolving and diverse health needs of the public. Developing competence in delivering palliative dental hygiene care presents an opportunity to apply the full scope of dental hygiene practice by implementing noninvasive techniques and providing comprehensive support.

In LTC settings, integrating DHs as collaborative partners alongside nurses is essential for providing client-centered palliative oral care care. This collaborative approach is fundamental to reducing the severity of oral health problems, preventing pain, and maintaining cleanliness and comfort to the end of life. Come join Lynda McKeown (RDH), Carolyn Weiss (RDH), and Heather WoodBeck (RN) to discuss palliative dental hygiene care for persons in LTC and understand how our residents can access the “right provider at the right time.”

Bushby RL, McKeown LL, Raynak SE, Weiss CL, Woodbeck HH, Palliative dental hygiene oral care. In: Darby and Walsh Dental Hygiene Theory and Practice,6th ed. Pierun JA, Amyot CC, editors.

Learning Objectives:

1. Define and discuss palliative care and explain palliative dental hygiene oral care.
2. Recognize the signs of frailty, aging, and oral complications manifested in the mouth during the process of dying and death.
3. Understand and apply the dental hygiene process of care to persons who are palliative and/or at the end of life.
4. Enhance the ability of nurses to  value and promote  palliative oral care as integral to improved quality of life.
5. Appreciate the role of interprofessional collaboration to provide appropriate oral care for palliative care clients
6. Advocate for inclusion of dental hygienists as an essential health care provider in legislation in the public health care system.