• nursing homes;
  • cornal caries;
  • root caries;
  • caries increments;
  • dementia


The objective of The Adelaide Dental Study of Nursing Homes was to quantify coronal and root caries incidence and increments in residents of Adelaide nursing homes. A longitudinal design was used to conduct dental inspections, completed by calibrated dental examiners, for residents of 7 randomly selected nursing homes at both baseline and at one-year follow-up. The nursing home residents in this study were very functionally dependent, medically compromised, cognitively impaired and behaviorally difficult older adults. The coronal caries surface incidence was 64.4% and root caries surface incidence was 48.5%. There were 72.1% of residents who had coronal and/or root cartes increments between baseline and one-year. The coronal and root caries increments in these residents were high (adjusted caries increment = 2.5 coronal and 1.0 root surfaces), and were many times greater than that reported from a longitudinal study of community-dwelling older adults in Adelaide. Residents with eating and nutritional problems developed high levels of new caries. Both coronal and root caries incidence and increments were high in these nursing home residents over the one-year follow-up period.