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Oral health among institutionalised elderly in Zagreb, Croatia


Dr Sonja Kraljević,
Department of Prosthodontics,
School of Dental Medicine, University of Zagreb,
Gundulićeva 5, 10 000 Zagreb, Croatia.
Fax: 385 1 4801 159


Objective:  A survey of dental health status was conducted in the institutionalised elderly in Zagreb, Croatia in order to assess the dental and oral health of the elderly population.

Participants:  In 139 institutionalised elderly from a single nursing home in Zagreb, dental and oral status was registered according to World Health Organization criteria. There were 108 (77.7%) female and 31 (22.3%) male subjects aged 58–99 years.

Results:  The results showed that 45.3% of the interviewed persons were totally edentulous in both jaws. A significant increase in prevalence of edentulousness with the increasing age was recorded. The mean decayed, missing and filled teeth number was 27. The average number of teeth with caries was 1.03 per person, the number of the teeth extracted was 6.9 per person and teeth with fillings 0.74 per person. The average number of teeth with root caries was 0.17. Approximately 9 teeth per person were in need of treatment. Filled teeth were found 25.9% of subjects and decayed teeth in 30.9%. The mean number of remaining sound teeth, decayed teeth and residual roots in the elderly decreased with increasing age. Complete periodontal treatment was required in 5.8% of the participants and no significant differences between genders in periodontal status could be noticed.

Conclusion:  The results of this study suggest poor dental health in this group of the institutionalised elderly and the necessity of improving and implementing some special features in the dental health services programs for the institutionalised elderly.