Objective: To determine self-reported removable prostheses (RP) concerns among Puerto Rican community-dwelling elderly. The Puerto Rican Elderly Dental Health Study (PREDHS) was a population-based cross-sectional study of participants sampled from the Puerto Rican Elderly Health Conditions study (PREHCO).
Methods: 392 participants were drawn from subjects who participated in the PREHCO study, a multi-stage, clustered sample of non-institutionalized 60 years and older adults, residing in Puerto Rico. The PREDHS eligibility criteria included residing in the San Juan metropolitan area, being dentate, at least 70 years old, and free of major CVD conditions. Participants were interviewed using structured demographic and RP questionnaires. Descriptive statistics were computed and differences across gender were statistically tested.
Results: One-hundred and eighty-three of the 243 subjects (75%) who agreed to participate met all eligibility criteria. Ninety-six subjects (52%) had RPs. The mean age of the participants was 77 (S.D. = 6.23) and 67% were female. Seventeen percent were edentulous in the maxilla and 1.6% in the mandible. Among the partially edentulous, males were more likely to have RPs than females (p=0.04). Sixty-eight percent of subjects reported seeing a dentist within 1 year, 74% wore their partial denture all day, and 31 % reported that their dentures needed repair or adjustment. Thirty-two percent did not wear dentures to eat, and 69% were satisfied with their prostheses. There was no statistical significance difference between genders for any of these factors. Agreement between self-reported need for RP repairs/adjustments and the examiners’ clinical quality assessment was 68%, Kappa = 0.380 (p<0.009).
Conclusions: RP deficiencies were unrecognized in 1/3 of Puerto Rico community dwelling elderly with RPs. Health education should target this group regarding the need for periodic evaluation of the RPs by dentists. Additionally, self-reported quality is unreliable for research purposes in this PR population.
Keywords: Elderly, Epidemiology and Prostheses
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