A lack of dental care for elderly residents can cause extreme pain, difficulties swallowing and speaking, disrupted sleep, depression and even early death. For more than a decade, a highly successful program has helped the aged improve their dental health. A recent report found a quarter of Australians over 75 have teeth affected by decay, while 20 per cent have complete tooth loss. The Senior Smiles program provides an oral health practitioner who works on-site, regular dental checks, the creation of individual dental care plans, and referral pathways to dentists. The benefits included improved nutrition, a lower risk of pneumonia, fewer hospital admissions and visits to doctors, decreased prescription costs and fewer deaths. Every resident entering a facility should have an oral health assessment, regular dental care and referrals for any treatment.