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Dental treatment and demand for services in a Veteran Administration Nursing Home Care Unit
Journal of Public Health Dentistry
  • Linda C. Niessen, Nova Southeastern University
  • B. Benson
  • C. Toga
Publication Date / Copyright Date
DOI Number
Planning the provision of dental care in nursing homes requires evaluation of both dental needs and demand for services. Dental treatment needs have been documented for residents of longterm care facilities. This paper examines the actual dental care provided to institutionalized persons demanding care. Dental records of 144 patients at a Veterans Administration Nursing Home Care Unit (NHCU) were reviewed to evaluate needs and treatment demands. About 20 percent of the NHCU patients were currently receiving dental treatment; the remainder were on recall (closed cases). Of the total services needed, slightly over half were denture related services, about a quarter were oral surgical services, and 16 percent were operative procedures. Almost a third refused some or all of the proposed dental treatment; seven percent were unable to be examined or treated. No statistically significant difference was found between the age and the level of nursing home care needed for those receiving treatment and those refusing treatment. Once the backlog of need was met, this NHCU dental program consisted primarily of recall exams, and prosthetic and oral surgical treatment. The case mix and refusal rate may change, however, as future cohorts of elders retain more teeth and have experienced preventive dental services during their lifetimes.
  • Institutional elderly,
  • dental treatment needs,
  • treatment demands
Citation Information
Linda C. Niessen, B. Benson and C. Toga. "Dental treatment and demand for services in a Veteran Administration Nursing Home Care Unit" Journal of Public Health Dentistry Vol. 44 Iss. 4 (1984) p. 147 - 155
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