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Discontinued dental attendance among elderly people in Sweden

Journal article
Authors Ingela Grönbeck-Linden
Catharina Hägglin
A. Petersson
P. O. Linander
Lars Gahnberg
Published in Journal of International Society of Preventive and Community Dentistry
Volume 6
Issue 3
Pages 224-229
ISSN 2231-0762
Publication year 2016
Published at Institute of Odontology
Institute of Odontology, Section 1
Pages 224-229
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.4103/2231-0762.183101
Keywords Dental attendance, dental care for aged, frail elderly, public dental service, oral-health, chewing ability, tooth loss, individuals, age
Subject categories Odontological behavioural science

Abstract

Aim: Our objective was to study the loss of dental attendance and a possible age trend among patients aged >= 65 years in Sweden. Regular dental check-ups are considered to be an important factor in maintaining oral health. Approximately 80% of the adult population in Sweden are enrolled in a regular check-up system; however, dental practitioners often find that older patients attend fewer check-ups. Old people may naturally lose contact with dental services as they move to special housing or die. In this systematic study, these factors were investigated and used as exclusion criteria. Materials and Methods: Data were collected for all patients (n = 4759) aged 65 or older from the electronic journal system in 3 large public dental clinics in 3 communities. Their dental records for the years 2004u2009 were studied longitudinally by 1 person at each clinic; 1111 patients were excluded (patients died during study period, wanted emergency care only, obtained special dental care allowance, moved from the community or moved to special housing, or left the clinic for another caregiver). The statistical analyses were performed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences version 21 (IBM). Results: Of the 3648 patients (1690 men and 1958 women) included in the study, 13% lost contact with their dental service over the course of the study (10% of those were aged 65u79 and 21% >= 80). The decrease in regular dental contact had a statistically significant association with increasing age (P < 0.001). Conclusion: A considerable number of older people living independently or with moderate supportive care in their own homes lost contact with dental service despite enrolment in a recall system.

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