[Gerodontology consultation in geriatric facilities: general health status (I)]

Katsoulis, Joannis; Huber, Sandra; Mericske-Stern, Regina (2009). [Gerodontology consultation in geriatric facilities: general health status (I)]. Schweizerische Monatsschrift für Zahnmedizin, 119(1), pp. 12-8. Bern: Schweizerische Zahnärzte-Gesellschaft

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Dental undertreatment is often seen in the older population. This is particularly true for the elderly living in nursing homes and geriatric hospitals. The progression of chronic diseases results in loss of their independence. They rely on daily support and care due to physical or mental impairment. The visit of a dentist in private praxis becomes difficult or impossible and is a logistic problem. These elderly patients are often not aware of oral and dental problems or these are not addressed. The geriatric hospital Bern, Ziegler, has integrated dental care in the concept of physical rehabilitation of geriatric patients. A total of 139 patients received dental treatment in the years 2005/2006. Their mean age was 83 years, but the segment with > 85 years of age amounted to 46%. The general health examinations reveald multiple and complex disorders. The ASA classification (American Society of Anesthesiologists, Physical Status Classification System) was applied and resulted in 15% = P2 (mild systemic disease, no functional limitation), 47% = P3 (severe systemic disease, definite functional limitations) and 38% = P4 (severe systemic disease, constant threat to life). Eighty-seven of the patients exhibited 3 or more chronic diseases with a prevalence of cardiovascular diseases, musculoskelettal disorders and dementia. Overall the differences between men and women were small, but broncho-pulmonary dieseases were significantly more frequent in women, while men were more often diagnosed with dementia and depression. Verbal communication was limited or not possible with 60% of the patients due to cognitive impairment or aphasia after a stroke. Although the objective treatment need is high, providing dentistry for frail and geriatric patients is characterized by risks due to poor general health conditions, difficulties in communication, limitations in feasibility and lack of adequate aftercare. In order to prevent the problem of undertreatment, elderly independently living people should undergo dental treatment regularly and in time. Training of nurses and doctors of geriatric hospitals in oral hygiene should improve the awareness. A multidisciplinary assessment of geriatric patients should include the oral and dental aspect if they enter the hospital.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > School of Dental Medicine > Department of Prosthodontics [discontinued]
04 Faculty of Medicine > School of Dental Medicine > Division of Fixed Prosthodontics [discontinued]

UniBE Contributor:

Katsoulis, Joannis, Huber, Sandra (B), Mericske, Regina




Schweizerische Zahnärzte-Gesellschaft




Eveline Carmen Schuler

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:11

Last Modified:

29 Mar 2023 23:33

PubMed ID:



https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/31133 (FactScience: 195538)

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