ObjectiveTo assess oral status and self-reported oral health in community-living elderly and to determine differences between relevant subgroups of oral status (remaining teeth, edentulous, implant-retained overdentures) and case complexity (robust, frail, complex care needs).
Subjects and methodsIn this cross-sectional descriptive study, 1325 Dutch community-living elderly (75years of age) were asked to complete validated questionnaires on frailty, activities of daily living (ADL), complexity of care needs, and QoL. Data on oral status, self-reported oral health, dental care, general health, and medication use were assessed. Differences between relevant subgroups were determined.
ResultsData of 1026 (77%) elderly (median 80years, IQR 77-84) were analyzed: 39% had remaining teeth, 51% were edentulous, and 10% had implant-supported overdentures. Elderly with complex care needs (n=225, 22%) and frail elderly (n=217, 21%) were more often edentulous and reported more oral problems than robust elderly (n=584, 57%). Elderly persons with remaining teeth were less frail, had better QoL and ADL, and used fewer medicines than edentulous elderly. Elderly with implant-supported overdentures performed better on frailty and QoL than edentulous elderly with conventional dentures.
ConclusionCommunity-living elderly commonly suffer from oral health problems, in particular elderly with complex care needs. QoL, ADL, and general health are higher among community-living elderly with remaining teeth and implant-supported overdentures than in edentulous elderly.