This volume may usefully be viewed as one effort in an ongoing initiative to answer the question, "How can the oral health care needs of older adults effectively be met?" As might be evident from the title of this final chapter and the assembled authors in this volume, we believe that an interdisciplinary approach is essential. Here we argue that there is a range of interdisciplinary science and scholarship that may be applied to answering a range of different questions. Further, we propose that the collection of chapters in the present volume constitutes what Lattuca (2003) has termed informed disciplinary, in that outreach to disciplines other than dentistry was critical in achieving the desired level of quality and comprehensiveness needed to advance the field. Finally, we outline key challenges that will require enhanced interdisciplinary collaboration if we are to be successful in meeting the oral health care needs of burgeoning numbers of older adults in the United States and throughout the world.
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