Effects of integrated dental care on oral treatment needs in residents of nursing homes older than 70 years

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Aim: To determine effects of integrated dental care in older nursing home residents. Methods: In three nursing homes offering integrated dental care, we studied the oral treatment need of 355 residents older than 70 years. To determine effects of integrated care, we discriminated between short-stay residents (≤6 months) and long-term residents (>6 months). Results: Treatment need, determined intraorally by two dentists, remains high among short-stay residents (78%) and long-term residents (67%). The association between treatment need and length of stay was not significantly affected by indication for stay (somatic vs. psychogeriatric). All dentate residents needed oral treatment, except one long-term resident. However, among edentulous residents, particularly with a psychogeriatric indication for stay, treatment need appeared to reduce significantly in time, from 74% to 57%. Conclusion: Despite integrated dental care, oral treatment need remains in virtually all dentate residents and more than half of edentulous residents.

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