Objective and Subjective Dental Treatment Needs among Nursing Home Residents


Objective: The aim of the study was to analyze oral, dental and denture hygiene, and the current treatment needs in nursing home residents. Design: Cross-sectional design. Setting: Nursing homes in Saxony, Germany. Participants and Intervention: Participating dentists recorded the frequency of oral, dental and denture care, dental treatment needs, and the request for treatment in 11,144 nursing home residents by using standardized checklists. Results: Mean age of the residents was 82.5 years, and 74.6% were females. For 54.0% of those examined, nursing staff did care for oral, dental, and denture hygiene. 77.5% of the residents performed oral hygiene more frequently than once daily, 19.8% only once a day, and 2.6% performed oral hygiene less frequent. A need for dental treatment was identified in 64.1% of the residents, of which 34.5% were missing dentures, and 29.7% suffered from dental diseases. 58.3% of the residents not requesting treatment had a clinical need for dental therapy. Objective and subjective need for treatment correlated positively (p < 0.001). Conclusion: Nursing home staff should be aware of the poor oral hygiene and health care conditions in residents. In addition to regular dental check-ups, nursing home residents should be given advice on dental care. Furthermore, dentists and health insurances should develop an action plan to improve oral health of nursing home residents, and to reduce additional costs due to lack of dental care.

Share and Cite:

Mäding, C. , Klewer, J. and Dietrich, R. (2015) Objective and Subjective Dental Treatment Needs among Nursing Home Residents. Advances in Aging Research, 4, 28-32. doi: 10.4236/aar.2015.42004.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Jager, S., Koster-Schmidt, A., Schade, M. and Heudorf, U. (2009) Oral Hygiene in Nursing Home Residents. Impact of an Oral Health Education Programme for the Nursing Personnel on the Residents’ Oral Health [Original in German]. Bundesgesundheitsblatt-Gesundheitsforschung-Gesundheitsschutz, 52, 927-935.
[2] Czarkowski, G., Allroggen, S., Koster-Schmidt, A., Baus-back-Schomakers, S., Frank, M. and Heudorf, U. (2013) Oral Health Hygiene Education Programme for Nursing Personnel to Improve Oral Health of Residents in Long-Term Care Facilities 2010 in Frankfurt/Main, Germany [Original in German]. Gesundheitswesen, 75, 368-375.
[3] Coca, I. and Vidac, A.A. (2006) Oral Status and Subjective Estimation of Dental Protheses by Inhabitants of Old People’s Homes [Original in German]. Das deutsche Zahnarzteblatt, 115, 362-367.
[4] Hassel, A.J., Koke, U., Schmitter, M. and Rammelsberg, P. (2006) Factors Associated with Oral Health-Related Quality of Life in Institutionalized Elderly. Acta Odontologica Scandinavica, 64, 9-15.
[5] Knabe, C. and Kram, P. (1997) Dental Care for Institutionalized Geriatric Patients in Germany. Journal of Oral Rehabilitation, 24, 909-912.
[6] Kassenzahnarztliche Bundesvereinigung (KZBV), and Bundeszahnarztekammer (BZAK) (2010) Oral Health Despite Handicap and Old Age [Original in German]. Kassenzahnarztliche Bundesvereinigung (KZBV), and Bundeszahnarzte-kammer (BZAK), Berlin.
[7] Statistical Office of Saxony (2013) Long-Term Care Insurance in Saxony. Nursing Care Facilities, Nursing Staff and People in Need of Care 2001. Staatsbetrieb Sachsische Informatik Dienste.
[8] Nitschke, I., Vogl, B., Topfer, J. and Reiber, T. (2000) Oral Health Status of Seniors in Nursing Homes in East Germany [Original in German]. Deutsche Zahnarztliche Zeitschrift, 55, 707-713.
[9] Nitschke, I., Majdani, M., Sabotta, B.A.J., Reiber, T. and Hopfenmüller, W. (2010) Dental Care of Frail Older People and Those Caring for Them. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 19, 1882-1890.
[10] Zenthofer, A., Dieke, A., Wege, K.C., Rammelsberg, P. and Hassel, A.J. (2013) Improving Oral Hygiene in the Long-Term Care of the Elderly—A RCT. Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, 41, 261-268.
[11] Nitschke, I., Ilgner, A. and Müller, F. (2005) Barriers to Provision of Dental Care in Long-Term Care Facilities: The Confrontation with Ageing and Death. Gerodontology, 22, 123-129.
[12] Social Care Act V, Statutory Health Insurance (1988) German Federal Law Gazette I, 2477. (Last Amended by Article 5 of the Act of 23 December 2014 (German Federal Law Gazette I p. 2462)).

Copyright © 2022 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.