BACKGROUND: Cross-sectional studies have shown that elderly with a natural dentition have better general health than edentulous elderly, but this has not been confirmed in studies with longitudinal design.
METHODS: This prospective longitudinal study with a follow-up of 8 years aimed to assess differences in general health, healthcare costs and dental care use between elderly with a natural dentition and edentulous elderly wearing implant-retained or conventional dentures. Based on data of all national insurance claims for dental and medical care from Dutch elderly (aged ≥75 years) general health outcomes (chronic conditions, medication use), healthcare costs and dental care use could be assessed of three groups of elderly, viz. elderly with a natural dentition, elderly with conventional dentures and elderly with implant-retained overdentures.
RESULTS: At baseline (2009), a total of 168,122 elderly could be included (143,199 natural dentition, 18,420 conventional dentures, 6503 implant-retained overdentures). Here we showed that after 8 years follow-up elderly with a natural dentition had more favorable general health outcomes (fewer chronic conditions, less medication use), lower healthcare costs and lower dental costs - but higher dental care use - than edentulous elderly. At baseline the general health of elderly with an implant-retained overdentures resembled the profile of elderly with a natural dentition, but over time their general health problems became comparable to elderly with conventional dentures.
CONCLUSIONS: It was concluded that elderly with a natural dentition had significant better health and lower healthcare costs compared to edentulous elderly (with or without dental implants).
- Community-dwelling elderly
- Healthy ageing
- Natural dentition
- Oral health
- TOOTH LOSS
- EDENTULOUS PATIENTS