The impact of a preventive and curative oral healthcare program on the prevalence and incidence of oral health problems in nursing home residents

Barbara Janssens*, Jacques Vanobbergen, Mirko Petrovic, Wolfgang Jacquet, Jos M. G. A. Schols, Luc De Visschere

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Aims To assess the impact of an oral healthcare program in nursing homes on the initial treatment backlog and residents' oral health stability. Materials and methods The study is a longitudinal cohort study in nursing home residents in Flanders, Belgium, to evaluate the oral healthcare programme Gerodent. The program consisted of: (1) the introduction of an oral healthcare team, (2) oral health education, (3) the implementation of oral health guidelines and protocols, and (4) regular visits of a mobile dental team. Data were extracted from the oral health records of 381 residents from 21 nursing homes who received treatments from the mobile dental team between October 2010 and March 2014 (mean follow-up period of 22.5 months). Oral health and treatment need between baseline and follow-up were compared. Results The mean age at baseline was 82.4 years and the mean number of consultations per resident was 3.61 during the follow-up period. The proportion of residents with an oral treatment need was reduced from 65.9% to 31.3%. Among residents with natural teeth, there was significantly lower prevalence of caries (from 70.5% at baseline to 36.5% at follow-up; p<0.001), residual roots (from 54.2% to 25.1%; p<0.001), and need for fillings (from 31.9% to 17.1%; p<0.001) or extractions (from 64.3% to 31.6%; p<0.001). In the group with partial or full dentures (n = 223), 38.1% needed a repair, rebasing or renewal of their existing dentures at baseline and the respective figure at follow-up was 9.0% (p<0.001). In terms of oral health stability, 53% of the residents had no incident restorative and prosthetic treatment need throughout the follow-up period. A lower number of natural teeth at baseline (p<0.001) and a shorter follow-up period (p = 0.002) were associated with higher chances of oral health stability. Conclusion The oral healthcare program Gerodent significantly reduced the treatment backlog and contributed to a considerable proportion of residents being stable in terms of oral health without any incident treatment needs.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0198910
Number of pages13
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2018




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