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Dental Practices - Dementia

Working Towards Dementia Friendly Dental Practices

It is reported by the Alzheimer’s Research trust that there are approximately 820,000 people with dementia in the UK today and this number is predicted to double in the next 30 years. Figures for the Thames Valley showed an estimated 24,515 people with dementia in 2014.

The Thames Valley Dental Local Professional Network and Health Education England Thames Valley are developing a scheme to help members of the dental team to provide supportive care environments for dementia patients. This involves signposting to relevant training alongside an audit to assess current progress towards becoming dementia friendly.

Settings who are able to demonstrate via the audit that they are positively supporting people with dementia as part of their practice ethos will be eligible to receive the Health Education England Thames Valley “Working towards Dementia Friendly Dental Practice” accreditation status which demonstrates commitment to improving the oral health for their patients with dementia.

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Overall, the scheme will enable staff to provide safe, effective, caring, responsive treatment for their patients with dementia which meets CQC requirements and the audit will provide valuable evidence of this. 


It is hoped that this project can provide the basis for the future development of dental services and care pathways for people with dementia within the Thames Valley and support ongoing negotiations with the commissioners of these services.

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We are looking for practices who would like to take part in the pilot scheme, please contact Katy Kerr at for a link to the audit on Survey Monkey.


An information pack is available here to download if you need further details and a hard copy of the audit which may be useful to look at before completing the survey.



Face to face training can be booked through the Health Education England TV/Wessex website on topics such as:

  • Mental capacity and dementia awareness
  • Compassion and kindness- patient care
  • Essential dementia awareness for the dental team in primary care



Best estimates show that 10% of dementia cases may be avoided by improvements in public health.
Dementia doesn’t have to be an inevitable part of ageing. People are more likely to live well in their older years if they live more healthily in earlier life, particularly during mid-life (40-65 years). Life expectancy is increasing, healthy life expectancy is not and members of the dental team have a role to play in prevention.

What’s good for the heart can be good for the brain: factors that increase the chances of developing vascular disease also increase the chance of developing dementia. Therefore a holistic life-long approach to health promotion needs to be encouraged, such as brief interventions including Smoking Cessation services, Physical Activity and Weight Management Programmes. 

Simple actions can reduce dementia risk:

  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise regularly and be physically active
  • Don't drink too much alcohol
  • Stop smoking (if you smoke)
  • Make sure to keep your blood pressure at a healthy level

Learn more about dementia prevention on the NHS Choices website: NHS Choices logo


Understanding dementia


Face to face training can be booked through the Health Education England TV/Wessex website on topics such as:
  • Mental capacity and dementia awareness
  • Compassion and kindness - patient care
  • Essential dementia awareness for the dental team in primary care


e-Learning for health


Understanding Dementia

This session will help you to understand the changes associated with dementia, how these are experienced by people living with dementia and their families, and the range of aspects of a person's life which we can draw on to ensure people live well with dementia.

Supporting People to Live Well With Dementia

In this session, we will look at how you can provide person-centred care to people with dementia and to their family and close friends.

Challenging Stigma, Myths and Stereotypes

This session will introduce what stigma is, the way people affected by dementia are stigmatised, its consequences for people living with dementia and what we can do to challenge it.

Useful reading
  • Department of Health (2011). Living well with dementia: A National Dementia Strategy Good Practice Compendium – an assets approach. London: Department of Health.
  • Department of Health (2012). Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia: Delivering major improvements in dementia care and research by 2015. London: Department of Health.
  • G. McNamara, J. Millwood, Y. M. Rooney & K. Bennett Forget me not – the role of the general dental practitioner in dementia awareness British Dental Journal 217, 245 - 248 (2014).


Dementia Friendly Communities

Alzheimer’s Society

Alzheimer's Society is a membership organisation, which works to improve the quality of life of people affected by dementia in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Dementia Friendly Communities

For further information on Dementia Friendly Communities and the recognition process please see the Alzheimer's Society's website

Dementia Friends

Dementia Friends is a social action movement that can enhance interactions between all people in a community, whether they have dementia or not. Dementia Friend Champions are able to deliver education sessions. For further information on how to become a Friend (including an online education session), and how to train to be a Champion, please go to

Dementia Connect

Dementia Connect is a way to find local services relevant to dementia. Log on to the website and put in the relevant postcode details, it will then show a list of local services including those relating to care and diagnosis as well as support groups.


Useful organisations and websites

Dementia Partnerships

Aims  to share knowledge, learning and innovation to improve health and care.

Dementia Action Alliance
Encourages and supports communities and organisations across England to take practical actions to enable people to live well with dementia and reduce the risk of costly crisis intervention. Over 40 organisations committed to transforming the quality of life of people living with dementia in the UK and the millions of people who care for them.

Dementia UK
Helping families cope with dementia. They have a link to finding local Admiral Nurses as well as useful information for healthcare professionals and family members.

Age UK
The Age UK Group works to improve later life for everyone by providing life‐enhancing services and vital support.

AT Dementia
Supports people to consider areas of daily living where they may experience difficulties and offers advice and information on technologies and other strategies that may be helpful.

Carers UK
Carers UK is a charity set up to help the millions of people who care for family or friends.

Department of Health Dementia Portal
This website follows the implementation of the National Dementia Strategy. It offers information to anyone with an interest in improving services for people with dementia.

Horsesmouth is a website where people with questions can ask people with relevant personal experiences for advice.

Social Care Institute for Excellence Dementia Gateway
A set of web based resources focused on supporting people with dementia, their carers and staff working in dementia services.

Brain Research Trust

The Dementia Research Centre (DRC)
Based at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN) is one of the UK's leading centres for clinical research into dementia.


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