Importance of Teeth for Three Diferent Elderly Groups

Eduardo Dickie de Castilhos, Dalva Maria Pereira Padilha

Abstract


Although the amount of research on aged people's oral health has increased, many questions remain unanswered. One of them is the importance which aged people give to their teeth, as well as the activities directly related to the teeth and prostheses. This study aimed at examining the influence of teeth and prostheses on the life of three different senior groups. A total number of 90 interviews were performed: 31 interviews with independent senior citizens; 23 interviews with aged people at a philanthropic home; 36 interviews with aged people at a private institution. The data were submitted to the analysis of content and statistics. The results enabled us to conclude that the oldest people, from a chronological and social point of view, show a smaller variety of aspects to which the teeth are important. All groups presented quantitative and qualitative differences regarding the categories established. In all groups, the importance of teeth for eating and nourishing was the most recurrent, followed by appearance in the groups of independent senior citizens and aged people at a philanthropic home. Communication was the second most recurrent category in the group of aged people at a private institution. General health, comfort, suffering, smiling and laughing, as well as self-esteem, have also been mentioned in a large number of reports. Still, more studies are necessary in order to verify the reproducibility of the present results in other similar groups.

Keywords


Geriatric dentistry; Self perception; Qualitative research



DOI: https://doi.org/10.22456/2177-0018.104327

Licença Creative Commons

e-ISSN 2177-0018 / ISSN 0566-1854.

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