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Gerodontology. 2012 Jun;29(2):e57-62. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-2358.2010.00409.x. Epub 2011 May 25.

Dental care and treatment needs of elderly in nursing homes in Saarland: perceptions of the homes managers.

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Clinic for Prosthetic Dentistry and Dental Material Science, University of Saarland, Homburg Saar, Germany.



To investigate nursing home managers' perceptions and attitudes towards oral health care and access to dental services for aged care facility residents.


Questionnaires containing 28 closed-ended questions were mailed to all 114 nursing homes in Saarland, Germany. Descriptive statistics were calculated for response items.


Facility response rate was 39%. None of the nursing homes in this study offered systematic dental health care. Initial dental screening was carried out only in one facility. In 81%, dental examinations only took place if required. Although stationary dental equipment was available only in one home, dental treatment was carried out in 71% of the cases by a dentist in the nursing home. Eighty-four per cent of the homes' managements rated the state of the dentition of the inhabitants as satisfying. Over half of the managers indicated satisfaction with the know-how of their nursing staff concerning oral hygiene procedures. The most significant barriers to provision of dental care in the facilities according to their managers were staff shortage, lack of interest of the inhabitants and financial concerns.


The results of this study showed an urgent need for estimating a programme for systematic dental care for institutionalised elder people in the federal state of Saarland.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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