The dental status of dentate institutionalized older adults: consideration of retained roots

James V. Altieri, James C. Vogler, Ruth Goldblatt, Ralph V. Katz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many studies have described the general dental findings in institutionalized older patients, but few studies have used standard dental indices to describe the dental status of these populations. Eighty‐five dentate nursing home residents were examined by a single dentist. Dental findings were reported by means of the DMFS, DMFT, and RCI indices along with the D/DFS ratio for coronal and root caries. The mean DMFS, DMFT, and RCI were 97.0, 22.9, and 28.7%, respectively. The percentages of untreated coronal and root caries lesions, as measured by the D/DFS ratios were 65.4% and 85.4%, respectively. Forty‐eight percent of the subjects had at least one retained root, with a mean of 1.0 for all 85 subjects. None of the dental findings was statistically significant in association with age, gender, or length of stay in the institution. In the population examined, no statistical or clinical differences in relation to age, gender, or length of stay in the institution were found. The dental status of a dentate older adult population can be accurately described by means of the standardized indices of DMFS, DMFT, and RCI along with the D/DFS ratios, with the caveat that these indices must be interpreted differently than when used with pediatric populations. Retained roots present a fifth surface at risk for root caries, the occlusal surface. The role of the occlusal root surface in the dental status of a population needs to be reported and analyzed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66-70
Number of pages5
JournalSpecial Care in Dentistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


Dive into the research topics of 'The dental status of dentate institutionalized older adults: consideration of retained roots'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this