eISSN: 2299-551X
ISSN: 0011-4553
Journal of Stomatology
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SCImago Journal & Country Rank
2/2019
vol. 72
 
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abstract:
Original paper

Dental health attitudes of older adults living in urban areas in West Pomerania, NW Poland vs. their dentition status expressed in DMFT

Elżbieta Dembowska
,
Łukasz Wilczyński

J Stoma 2019; 72, 2: 83–89
Online publish date: 2019/07/26
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Introduction
Assessment of dental health attitudes among older people in the region of West Pomerania, Poland, and a comparison with their dental status shown by the decayed, missing, and filled teeth (DMFT) index.

Material and methods
The study involved 294 people aged 65-74 years living in West Pomerania, NW Poland. The study was conducted in the city of Szczecin and the towns of Łobez and Police in 2014-2015. Interviews with the participants provided information on their health attitudes. Clinical examinations evaluated their dentition to produce a DMFT index.

Results
The largest group of respondents (106 people, 36%) visited the dentist once a year. Only 50.3% (n = 148) visited the dentist because of a follow-up. As many as 3.7% of patients used a toothbrush less than once a day or not at all, while 6.8% replaced their toothbrush less than once a year or not at all. Only 20.4% of the respondents cleaned their interdental spaces. The mean number of missing teeth, and the DMFT index were higher among older adults with the lowest level of health attitudes.

Conclusions
The examined older adults in West Pomerania showed inadequate dental health attitudes. Only a fraction reported a habit of cleaning interdental spaces. In general, health attitudes had a significant impact on the dental health of the examined older adults. This paper shows the need for systematic, standardised, and reproducible epidemiological studies in older adults.

keywords:

Poland, oral health, oral hygiene, older adults

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