Elderly with remaining teeth report less frailty and better quality of life than edentulous elderly: a cross-sectional study

A. R. Hoeksema, S. L.W. Spoorenberg, L. L. Peters, H. J.A. Meijer, G. M. Raghoebar, A. Vissink, K. Wynia, A. Visser

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Objective: To assess oral status and self-reported oral health in community-living elderly and to determine differences between relevant subgroups of oral status (remaining teeth, edentulous, implant-retained overdentures) and case complexity (robust, frail, complex care needs). Subjects and methods: In this cross-sectional descriptive study, 1325 Dutch community-living elderly (≥75 years of age) were asked to complete validated questionnaires on frailty, activities of daily living (ADL), complexity of care needs, and QoL. Data on oral status, self-reported oral health, dental care, general health, and medication use were assessed. Differences between relevant subgroups were determined. Results: Data of 1026 (77%) elderly (median 80 years, IQR 77–84) were analyzed: 39% had remaining teeth, 51% were edentulous, and 10% had implant-supported overdentures. Elderly with complex care needs (n = 225, 22%) and frail elderly (n = 217, 21%) were more often edentulous and reported more oral problems than robust elderly (n = 584, 57%). Elderly persons with remaining teeth were less frail, had better QoL and ADL, and used fewer medicines than edentulous elderly. Elderly with implant-supported overdentures performed better on frailty and QoL than edentulous elderly with conventional dentures. Conclusion: Community-living elderly commonly suffer from oral health problems, in particular elderly with complex care needs. QoL, ADL, and general health are higher among community-living elderly with remaining teeth and implant-supported overdentures than in edentulous elderly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)526-536
Number of pages11
JournalOral diseases
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2017


  • dental diseases
  • geriatric conditions
  • periodontium
  • public health

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