BACKGROUND: Research into oral health care for older people has shown that dental care in general decreases with increasing age and frailty and, therefore, oral health care provision may be complex. The aim of this study is to identify the oral health care dentists provide to community-dwelling older people and which barriers they experience in doing this.
METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, a representative sample of dentists in the Netherlands was asked to prospectively select one older patient and describe this patient using a specially developed registration form; the patient was requested to fill out a questionnaire. The relationship between experienced barriers in providing oral health care to older patients and characteristics of the dentists and the patients was studied by means univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis.
RESULTS: In total, 923 dentists were asked to participate in the study. Data were available for 39.4% dentist-patient pairs. In most cases (87.4%), oral health care was focussed on conservation of the dentition. In all, 14.0% of the dentists experienced barriers in providing oral health care for older people. Some patient factors increase the risk of experiencing barriers, eg, the more difficult behaviour of older patients and the greater disease burden.
CONCLUSIONS: Oral health care was mostly focussed on conservation of the dentition, and dentists especially experience barriers in oral health provision to older patients if they are already frail.
- Community-dwelling older people
- DENTAL SERVICES
- Oral health care provision
- REMAINING TEETH