Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Thomas Nicholson, Richard Wilson, Glenn Lohr

Degree Program

Department of Public Health

Degree Type

Master of Science


Many physical changes occur as one ages, including changes associated with the oral cavity. A review of the literature suggests that the provision of dental care to institutionalized elderly patients presents problems due to a variety of factors. The purpose of this study is to assess the level or dental care provided to residents of long-term care facilities located in Warren County, Kentucky. In addition, secondary objectives Include the ascertainment of who provides dental care to residents and the amount or in-service dental training made available to staff members of the facility.

Each administrator of the long term care facilities located in Warren County participated in an *interview conducted by the author. During the interview, information was obtained for a 21 item questionnaire concerning the facility, the number and age range or the residents, and types of dental services provided within the facility.

Results obtained from the questionnaire indicated that 77 percent or the residents in long-tern care facilities in Warren County are 70 years of age or older. No significant differences were noted in the types or dental services provided to residents. However, the dental services provided ranged from those that were obtained in a private dental office via transportation or the resident to outside dental facilities to routine oral hygiene measures carried out by staff members employed by the facility.

The findings revealed significant differences in the dental status of the MRDD residents when compared to the nursing home residents. Other findings indicated that none of the long-term care facilities had dental operatories or dental radiographic equipment on the premises.

Additional research would be required in order to address uncertainties discovered in the study. A followup to the questionnaire Interview with the consulting dentists may be included to determine to what capacity and to what extent they are utilized by the facilities. Other recommendations include the utilization of entrance dental examinations to determine if services offered do meet the needs of the residents and periodic dental examinations to aid in detection and thus reduce the prevalence of dental diseases in this population.


Dental Hygiene | Dentistry | Health Services Administration | Medicine and Health Sciences | Public Health