Southern Nevada assisted living residents’ perception of their oral health status and access to dental care

Authors


Georgia Dounis, DDS, MS
Associate Professor, Clinical Sciences, School of Dental Medicine, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 1001 Shadow Lane MS 7410, Las Vegas, NV 89106-4124, USA
Tel.: 702-774-2667
Fax: 702-774-651
E-mail: georgia.dounis@unlv.edu

Abstract

doi: 10.1111/j.1741-2358.2010.00434.x

Southern Nevada assisted living residents’ perception of their oral health status and access to dental care

Objective:  Oral health is an integral component of general health, and quality of life. The purpose of this study was to determine the perceptions of oral health status and acces\s to dental care by Southern Nevada Assisted Living Facilities Residents.

Methods:  A cross-sectional questionnaire study design was used to survey residents between 34 and 99 years old residing in Assisted Living Facilities. Seventy respondents (42 males and 28 females) completed a survey that included personal oral hygiene, access to care, and demographic information. Data analyses included descriptive statistics and chi-square.

Results:  Mean age was 75.78 years, and the majority had a college education (n = 41). Four currently smoked cigarettes. Twenty-nine (males = 14; females = 15) reported having dental insurance. Eleven respondents had seen a dentist twice a year, while 33 reported a visit less than 6 months. Forty-one reported the facility did not provide oral health care with majority (n = 64) indicating that accessing oral health care was difficult. Self-rated response to oral hygiene, a majority (n = 64) reported their oral hygiene as fair and five reported their oral hygiene as poor.

Conclusions:  Assisted living residents in Southern Nevada reported difficulty accessing dental services within and outside of the facility. Oral care models to address this unique population should be explored.

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