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Keywords:

  • functional competency;
  • cognitive impairment;
  • older adults

ABSTRACT

This survey was to study whether and how dental professional assess dental-related function in older adults with cognitive impairment (OACI). An invitation was sent to 525 special-care dental professionals, followed by a reminder in 2 weeks. Thirteen percent of the targeted participants completed the survey. Among them, 88% completed a hospital dentistry, geriatric dentistry, or other postgraduate training program. Nearly 70% of the respondents considered somewhat to very difficult to assess dentally related function; 45% did not ever or did not regularly assess dental-related function for OACI. Dental-related functional assessments were often based on a subjective, unstructured approach. Only 6% of the respondents routinely used standard instruments to assess the patients’ function. These results indicate that an objective functional assessment based on a standardized instrument has not been routinely incorporated into dental care for OACI, raising concerns for quality of care in this vulnerable population.