By Tony Edwards, DrBicuspid.com editor in chief

June 20, 2019 -- Tooth-colored restorations placed in frail older adults who reside in long-term care facilities have a comparable survival rate to those placed in community-dwelling older adults, according to a presentation on June 20 at the 2019 International Association for Dental Research (IADR) meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Restoratives can help residents of long-term care facilities maintain their oral and overall health, but only if the restoratives last. Researchers followed almost 850 residents of these facilities for five years and found that restoratives had an overall survival rate of 58%, which they reported is similar for those in community-dwelling older adults.

"Tooth-colored dental restorations have reasonable longevity in [long-term care] patients and have comparable survival to restorations placed in functionally independent, community-dwelling geriatric populations," the researchers wrote in their IADR poster. The poster was presented by Nicholas Tong, DDS, from the University of British Columbia Faculty of Dentistry in Vancouver.

This population of older adults is at an increased risk of caries because of a combination of poor oral hygiene, medication-related salivary hypofunction, and a diet high in carbohydrates, the researchers noted. This means direct dental restorations are needed to treat affected teeth to help these patients maintain their oral and overall health.

The researchers wanted to measure the longevity of these restorations and also see if there was a difference in survival rates between the most commonly used materials for these restorations: composite resin and glass ionomer.

They followed 846 residents of long-term care facilities with 3,054 tooth-colored restorations placed between 2007 and 2012. These patients were followed on an annual basis for five years.

The restorations had a five-year survival rate of 58%, which is similar to the rate of those in community-dwelling older adults, according to the researchers. In addition, they found no statistically significant difference between the composite-resin and glass-ionomer restorations.


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