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Routine Dental Care Programs in Long Term Care: Clinical Effectiveness and Guidelines

Last updated: June 25, 2012
Project Number: RC0364-000
Product Line: Rapid Response
Research Type: Devices and Systems
Report Type: Summary with Critical Appraisal
Result type: Report

Question

  1. What is the clinical effectiveness of routine dental care and oral hygiene programs in long-term care?
  2. What are the evidence-based guidelines regarding routine dental care and oral hygiene programs in long-term care?

Key Message

Six reports were included in this review. There was suggestive evidence that professional dental care may improve the nutritional status, quality of life, and the general oral health of elder LTC residents. As well, one controlled trial suggested that routine dental care may be effective in preventing respiratory infections in elderly persons in LTC. Evidence-based clinical guidelines provided recommendations for a mixed oral care in collaboration between the nursing home staff and dental professionals.