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Swed Dent J. 1984;8(1):29-48.

Variation in dental health in 70-year old men and women in Göteborg, Sweden. A cross-sectional epidemiological study including longitudinal and cohort effects.


Within the framework of an epidemiological, initially cross-sectional and subsequently longitudinal, population study of 70-year-old people, a representative sample of 386 subjects were subjected to odontological investigation. Forty six per cent of the men and 55% of the women were edentulous in both jaws and 20% of the men and 19% of the women were edentulous in one jaw. In dentulous subjects the mean number of teeth was 13.6 (men) and 13.5 (women). The tooth mortality rate was higher in the upper than in the lower jaw and higher in the lateral segments of the jaws than in the frontal region. The mean number of carious teeth was 3.2 for men and 2.4 for women and the mean number of intact teeth was 4.8 in men and 3.4 in women (p less than or equal to 0.05). Fifty four per cent of remaining teeth had been restored in men and 73% in women (p less than or equal to 0.01). Significantly more upper teeth were restored than lower teeth. Half of the dentulous subjects had worn their dentures for more than 10 years and only 14% had satisfactorily functioning dentures and acceptable occlusion. Poor retention and poor stability were very common in unsatisfactory dentures, more so in the upper than in the lower jaw. The proportion of dentures with these faults increased with increasing age of the dentures. The degree of dental invalidity was classified according to Eichner's index. This index was strongly correlated to the number of teeth and tooth contacts (p less than or equal to 0.001). The Eichner index covaried with frequency of visits to the dentist and special background factors such as income, education, marital status and past and present smoking habits. Married men tended to have a better level of dental health than other men (p less than or equal to 0.01), while the reverse was true for women. About half of the dentulous subjects were in need of prosthetic treatment and slightly less than half of them needed conservative dental treatment. Sixty per cent of edentulous subjects needed new dentures. The longitudinal comparisons between the ages of 70 and 75 showed small changes in dental invalidity. In a new cohort of 70-year-olds examined 5 years later the proportion of edentulous was significantly lower than in the first 70-year-old cohort.

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