Background: Life expectancy has increased worldwide, with India (having 8% who are senior citizens), falling into the “Greying Country” category. This ageing population constitutes a high-risk oral health group, vis-à-vis impaired manual dexterity, cognitive deterioration and unmet treatment needs, which could be compounded by psychiatric morbidity.
Objective: To assess oral health status and prosthodontic need of ageing psychiatric patients.
Materials and method: One hundred and twenty-five patients, aged 50 years or above, admitted to the Department of Geriatric Mental Health, King George’s Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India, were examined for prosthodontic, oral health status and need, the study population being divided into groups on the basis of Bristol Activities Scale of Daily Living.
Results: Depressive symptoms (which increased with age) and psychiatric morbidity were found to be more in females. About 98% of the population showed probing depths of more than 3 mm, with mean number of decayed/missing teeth and inability to maintain oral/denture hygiene (p < 0.001) increasing in higher disability levels. While 91.3% of the population wearing a prosthesis required new dentures, 33.3% of the study population had unfulfilled partial denture need and 28.4% had unfulfilled upper/lower complete denture need.
Conclusion: Ageing psychiatric subjects require dental education and treatment to meet their needs.