Oral health and oral implant status in edentulous patients with implant-supported dental prostheses who are receiving long-term nursing care.

Maxillofacial Unit, Division of Hospital Dentistry, Specialisttandvården, Länssjukhuset, Halmstad, Sweden.
Gerodontology (Impact Factor: 0.81). 07/2009; 26(4):245-9. DOI: 10.1111/j.1741-2358.2009.00275.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to investigate oral health and oral implant status in a group of edentulous patients receiving long-term residential or nursing care (LTC), all of whom had implant-supported fixed or removable dental prostheses.
A dental examination was performed on a total of 3310 patients receiving LTC and from this population 35 edentulous patients in whom dental implants had been placed formed the cohort for this study. All examinations were performed by a specialist in hospital dentistry and took place in the patients' own home environment. Oral health was assessed by means of a protocol which evaluated oral hygiene status, possible oral mucosal inflammation and oral mucosal friction levels. Any problems with the implant-supported prosthesis, implant mobility or other complications were also assessed. In addition, patients were asked about any oral symptoms and their usual oral hygiene procedures.
About half of the subjects (17/35) were registered as having no/mild inflammation with 18 of 35 having moderate/severe inflammation. Twelve of the 35 patients had good/acceptable oral hygiene and 23 of 35 had poor/bad oral hygiene. Twenty-one of the 35 patients depended on help from the nursing personnel for their daily oral hygiene procedures. Obvious problems with food impaction were noted in 11 patients. A total of 229 implants had been placed in 43 jaws supporting 40 full arch-fixed prostheses and three implant-borne overdentures. There was no evidence of mobility or fractures of either the implants or the prostheses. Fifteen implants showed some exposed screw threads. Pus was exuding from one implant site and general peri-implant gingival hyperplasia was noted in two patients. Twenty-four patients were completely satisfied with the function and appearance of their implant-supported prostheses. Two patients were totally dissatisfied.
This study indicates that oral implant therapy can be considered as a treatment of choice in elderly patients, even if oral hygiene is sub-optimal.

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