Strategies to improve the quality of oral health care for frail and dependent older people.
The dental profile of the population of most industrialised countries is changing. For the first time in at least a century most elderly people in the United Kingdom will soon have some of their own natural teeth. This could be beneficial for the frail and dependent elderly, as natural teeth are associated with greater dietary freedom of choice and good nutrition. There may also be problems including high levels of dental disease associated with poor hygiene and diet. New data from a national oral health survey in Great Britain is presented. The few dentate elderly people in institutions at the moment have poor hygiene and high levels of dental decay. If these problems persist as dentate younger generations get older, the burden of care will be substantial. Many dental problems in elderly people are preventable or would benefit from early intervention. Strategies to approach these problems are presented. (+info)
Oral care of elderly patients: nurses' knowledge and views.
It is important that healthcare professionals caring for the elderly in hospitals have a core knowledge of the orodental care requirements of their patients. The aim of this study was to determine the knowledge and views of nurses working on acute and rehabilitation care of the elderly wards about orodental care. One hundred nurses and healthcare assistants took part in this questionnaire study of which 58 were qualified nurses and 70 had been employed on care of the elderly wards for two or more years. Although the majority of the respondents were registered with a dentist and attended regularly, 40 did have 'some anxiety' about visiting their dentist. Approximately half of the study population regularly gave advice to their patients about dental care but their knowledge of and reasons for providing oral care and advice was often incorrect. The group's understanding of the availability of dental treatment provided by the National Health Service was also often inaccurate. It was concluded that a better core knowledge of the orodental care of older patients is required by all healthcare professionals who care for this group. It is also important that individuals in whom anxiety is associated with their own dental experience do not neglect to give orodental health advice to their patients. (+info)
Ethics in an aging society: challenges for oral health care.
Health and aging are deeply meaningful and complex realities. The demographic reality of the Canadian population in the 21st century requires an in-depth understanding of the health care goals of older people, an analysis of the attitudes toward older people that affect societal decision making and the educational and policy changes required to effect positive change. Viewing these issues through the lens of oral health care allows an analysis of health care goals for the older population. A look at representative cases where oral health needs were not met uncovers some of the attitudes and values about oral health, the goals of health care and the unique circumstances of older people that present barriers to appropriate care. (+info)
The history of dental programs for older adults.
Compared with other age groups, the elderly have less access to oral health care services and poorer oral health status. Most provinces have no publicly funded programs to address these inequities and the volunteer efforts of professionals and hospital-based programs have had little effect. In Ontario, two expert committees have called for seniors' programs augmented by a strong outreach component to be delivered by public health services. Their recommendations have not been implemented and, worse, some public health programs have lost the capacity to maintain the preventive services they once provided. The development of public policy to address the needs of the elderly is thwarted by the narrow definition of public health problems, the reluctance of the dental profession to lobby for public funding, the bias toward investment in younger groups, and the persistence of a "reverse public funding program" whereby the employed, more affluent receive dental care as a tax-free benefit and the retired, lower-income elderly pay in after-tax dollars. (+info)
Problems of an aging population in an era of technology.
With the substantially growing number of elderly persons in Canada and the rest of the developed world, the need for adequate health and social care will increase. Health and social service providers must develop policies and programs allowing the elderly to lead rich and independent lives for as long as possible. As advances in age-related diseases are made, the elderly will potentially live longer and lead more active and fulfilling lives. Society, governments and those involved in the care of the elderly must meet the new challenges of this aging population in a humane and respectful way. (+info)
A clinical and microbiological evaluation of denture cleansers for geriatric patients in long-term care institutions.
BACKGROUND: Many elderly patients in long-term care hospitals cannot adequately brush their dentures because of disease, dementia and poor dexterity. Such inadequate cleaning may allow for the multiplication of Candida spp. and bacteria, which could serve as reservoirs for disseminating infections. OBJECTIVE: To assess the efficacy of 3 denture cleansers in reducing the number of microorganisms on dentures in a hospitalized geriatric population. METHODS: Three brands of cleanser (Denture Brite, Polident and Efferdent) were compared; water was used as the control. Microbiological samples were obtained before and after 3 one-week periods of cleanser use; these samples were taken by a microbiologist blinded to the assigned treatment. In the statistical analysis, the ranks of the differences between the before-treatment and after-treatment scores of each regimen were compared by means of the general linear model. In addition, the efficacy of each cleanser in reducing accumulation of plaque, stain and food was assessed. RESULTS: The rank of the differences in the number of colony-forming units (CFUs) of Candida spp. before and after one week of use of Denture Brite (p = 0.04) and Polident (p = 0.01), was significantly greater than that of the control group, but there was no difference between Efferdent use and control (p = 0.10). No significant differences in reduction of Streptococcus mutans were observed between Denture Brite (p = 0.13) or Polident (p = 0.12) and the control group, whereas dentures cleaned with Efferdent exhibited significantly greater reduction in Streptococcus mutans (p = 0.02) than dentures cleaned with water. Over all study periods, there were no significant differences among the cleansers in reduction of Candida spp. or Streptococcus mutans. Dentures cleaned with Denture Brite, Polident or Efferdent appeared to have similar reductions in the level of plaque, stain and food, and all had substantially greater reductions than dentures cleaned with water only. The significant difference in the rank of the reduction in Candida spp. CFUs (p = 0.005) was related to the variance between study periods (p = 0.01) and the variance between subjects (p = 0.008). CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: The use of denture cleansers significantly reduced the number of microorganisms on dentures in a hospitalized geriatric population. (+info)
Outcomes of implant prosthodontic treatment in older adults.
Older adults are expected to account for an increasingly disproportionate number of individuals needing oral implant prostheses. However, this biotechnology was initially studied for predominantly middle-aged edentulous patients, not elderly people. High rates of success and minimal crestal bone loss have been reported for oral implants mainly in this group. The results of studies at the University of Toronto now clearly support earlier reports that older adults respond to oral implants in the same manner as younger adults, despite their tendency for systemic illness, including osteoporosis. However, unfavourable jawbone quantity and quality, particularly atrophy of the maxilla, impaired implant success. Furthermore, placement of implants in sites that had been edentulous for shorter periods was associated with greater crestal bone loss, a finding that may have implications for younger adults undergoing such treatment. The major decision-making challenge in managing depleted dentitions and complete edentulism in an aging society now lies in differentiating the treatment outcomes, especially patient-mediated assessments (including economic analyses), of the various prosthodontic options available for older adults. (+info)
Elderly Canadians residing in long-term care hospitals: Part I. Medical and dental status.
BACKGROUND: Oral diseases and conditions have been identified as a significant problem for elderly residents of long-term care (LTC) hospitals in developed countries, yet little recent information is available for the Canadian population. OBJECTIVE: To describe the medical, dietary, oral microbial, oral hygiene and dental status of elderly Canadians living in LTC hospitals in Vancouver and surrounding communities. METHODS: A sample of 369 elderly dentate hospital residents (mean age 83.9 years, 281 women [76.2%]) were examined, and their medical status and medications, oral status and type of hospital were documented. Oral hygiene practices and diet (specifically intake of refined carbohydrates) were evaluated. Subjects with xerostomia and subjects taking medications with hyposalivary side effects were identified, and salivary Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus were cultured. RESULTS: The mean plaque index was 1.3; men had a higher plaque index than women and residents of extended care hospitals had a higher plaque index than those in intermediate care hospitals. The mean bacterial score per millilitre of saliva was 9.7 105 colony-forming units (CFU) for Streptococcus mutans and 1.6 105 CFU for Lactobacillus. On average, each subject had 6.3 sound teeth, and 9.3 teeth had been restored. CONCLUSIONS: Although almost half of the subjects had visited a dental office in their community within the past 5 years, the elderly hospital residents in this study had few remaining teeth and suffered from poor oral hygiene. Prevention strategies (such as diet, oral hygiene and antimicrobial agents) rather than dental interventions (such as restorations and extractions) alone may be needed to control oral diseases in this susceptible population. (+info)