December 2008

Volume 25, Issue 4

Oral health problems and needs in nursing home residents in Northern Italy

Authors: R. Ferro A. Besostri L. Strohmenger L. Mazzucchelli G. Paoletti A. Senna E. Stellini S. Mazzoleni
doi: 10.1922/CDH_1994Ferro06

Abstract

Objective: To describe the oral health status and treatment needs of a sample of elderly people residing in nursing homes in Northern Italy. Research design: a sample of 595 elderly residents (mean age 83.2±9.2 yrs), with adequate cognitive skills were examined by six calibrated dentists. Results: The sample (82% women) was divided into two groups: edentulous (43%) and dentate. In the edentulous group 58% wore dentures in both jaws, 8% in only one jaw and 34% had no dentures. The main problems were dirty or loose dentures and poor oral hygiene. In the dentate group the mean number of teeth was 8.4±7.4, 53% wore dentures (removable, fixed or a combination). Poor oral hygiene was found in 86%, root caries in 51% and coronal caries in 46%. Their main needs were professional cleaning (72%), oral hygiene instructions (62%) and tooth/root extractions (56%). While normative needs were noted for 82% of the whole sample, oral treatment needs were accurately perceived by only 20% of residents, poorly by 24%, while 46% indicated that they had no oral treatment needs. Key words: Elderly, nursing home, oral health status, oral needs

£10 single article

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