Chulalongkorn University Dental Journal

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Objective The aims of this study were to investigate the principal oral complaints, dental health status and dental treatment needs in elderly patients. Materials and methods The study sample consisted of 484 dental patients who were 60 years of age and older. Interviews were conducted to identify the oral complaints whereas the dental health status and dental treatment needs were assessed by oral examination. Results There were 17 principal oral complaints identified; and the four leading problems were faulty prostheses (21.1%), pain or/and swelling (16.3%), tooth loss or inefficient chewing (16.1%), and broken teeth and restorations (11.6%). There were more edentate subjects in the 70 years and older group (21.3%) than the other two younger groups (14.6% and 6.4% respectively, p = .001). With reference to denture wearing status, there were 246 denture wearers, including 62.2% partial denture wearers and 37.8% complete denture wearers. Of the 416 dentate subjects, there were 85.3% subjects who had at least one carious lesion. The DMF scores were higher in the oldest group (21.1±6.8) as compared to those of the two younger groups (19.2±7.9 and 18.9±6.8 respectively, p = .038). There were 30.5% subjects with gingivitis and 65.9% with periodontitis. The incidence of periodontitis increased with age (p < .001). Prosthetic treatment was the main requirement, applying to 84.5% of the group, followed by the periodontal treatment (80.8%), and restorative treatment (75.4%). Conclusion The results of this study shows high incidence of dental diseases in our sample. Therefore the appropriate dental treatment is a high priority for this group of patients.



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