The residual dentition among New Zealanders in aged residential care.Gerodontology. 2019 Sep; 36(3):216-222.G
Descriptions of the older population's dentition status are usually limited to indicators such as the edentulous proportion, the mean number of restored and missing teeth, and the proportion with a functional dentition, with very few reports describing in detail the nature of the residual dentition.
This study described the residual dentition among older New Zealanders living in residential aged care facilities.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
Using national data from the Older People's Oral Health Survey, we determined the residual dentition arrangement and Kennedy classification for each dental arch. Individuals were categorised according to their maxillary-mandibular dental configuration. Data were weighted to make the estimates generalisable to the source population.
Among the dentate 45% of the 987 clinically examined participants, the most prevalent configuration was maxillary tooth-bounded saddles against a partially dentate lower (24.7%; 95% CI: 20.4, 29.7). More younger participants generally had less tooth loss experience and had higher prevalence of Kennedy Classes II, III and IV. There were few sex differences, although more females had a fully dentate arch. Marked ethnic differences were observed: Māori were up to eight times as likely to have only mandibular anterior teeth remaining. Upper dentures were worn more than their lower counterpart. Age, sex and ethnic characteristics were associated with particular residual teeth configurations.
Having various degrees of tooth loss was the norm, with the upper tooth-bounded saddles against any partially dentate lower combination most common, and limited to females. An edentulous maxilla opposed by some standing teeth was observed in over one-quarter of the population, and most common among Māori and those who were older. Maxillary prostheses were much more common than mandibular ones. Caring for dentate older people in aged residential care is likely to be complicated by the wide range of dentition configurations.