Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS) in Dental Hygiene

Department

Dental Hygiene

Abstract

Purpose: This study sought to bring awareness to the scientific community of the need for regular dental care in skilled nursing facilities (SNF) by proving access to oral care has an effect on oral health and may have an impact on the SNF residents’ daily performance and Quality of Life (QoL). Methods: This study was conducted at a private SNF in a southern metropolitan area with a sample size of 30 (N=30). The PI and two research assistants conducted interviews and oral exams using a modified 10 item Oral Impacts on Daily Performance (OIDP) with two free response (QoL) questions, OHI-S, and DMFT indices to collect data. Results: Spearman’s rank coefficient analyzed correlations between OHI-S, DMFT, and OIDP indices and found a significant relationship between the OHI-S and OIDP (p=0.036) implying oral disease from plaque and calculus buildup in the mouth impact daily performance. Furthermore the strongly suggested relationship between the DMFT and OIDP (p=0.054) alludes to the fact the number and condition of the teeth has an impact on how these subjects lived their daily lives. Considering the strongly suggested relationship between the Missing (M) in DMFT scores and the OIDP (p= 0.059), the number of teeth has more potential to impact daily performance than whether the teeth are decayed or filled. Qualitative data analysis found four themes related to the social, psychological, physical, and financial well-being of the subjects and their oral health. Conclusion: Oral health has the potential to impact daily performance resulting in an effect on quality of life. The health care professions are charged with developing health care provider models and collaborative interprofessional health care teams to meet the future needs of aging adults.

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