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Keywords:

  • Tooth loss;
  • ageing;
  • Israel

Abstract

Objectives Numerous studies around the world have been conducted in order to understand the reasons for tooth extractions in various age groups. Most studies have dealt with the general adult population but little attention has been paid to the elderly population. In Israel, as in most of the western countries, the elderly population is growing rapidly and thus demands for its dental needs are also increasing. In order to meet the dental requirements of the geriatric population, data on the main reasons of tooth mortality have been collected. Design Retrospective analysis of reasons for extraction divided into three categories: caries, periodontal disease and “other”. Subjects The files of 302 consecutive elderly patients aged 65–95 years attending for extraction. The cause for tooth extraction was gathered from the written diagnosis described by the operator us well as from radiographs. Setting. Two surgical clinics in Jerusalem serving low income residents. Results Results indicated that 30% of the extractions were due to caries, 65% were due to periodontal disease and only 6.4% related to “other” reasons. In both, males and females, periodontal disease was the major cause for tooth loss yet, females exhibited more extractions due to caries than males (35% vs 23% respectively). A relatively high incidence of tooth loss was documented for the 85+ age group. Of the teeth that were extracted, incisors and molars were equally the most frequent (29%) followed by premolars (26%) and canines (17%). Premolars were the teeth most frequently extracted out of the teeth removed due to caries (32%) whereas incisors were the most frequently removed within the group of teeth extracted due to periodontal disease (31%). Conclusions The results of this study point to the importance of prevention and treatment of dental diseases, particularly periodontal disease, in adults aged 0 years and above in order to prevent tooth loss in their later years.