Background: Poor oral health is widespread in care-dependent older people, but no consensus for a minimum standard of oral health care currently exists. Objectives: This study aimed to derive a consensus on oral health policy, access to dental care, oral hygiene measures and training levels. Methods: The e-Delphi approach was applied utilising a select panel of interdisciplinary experts. Agreement amongst the subject experts was defined according to three measurements: 1. >70% of experts’ opinion fall into category “agree or strongly agree”, 2. median score on the 5-point Likert scale > 4, 3. interquartile range < 1. Results: A total of 31 experts from 17 European countries participated in this survey. Agreement was achieved for a compulsory dental examination when a care-dependent older adult is admitted to a long-term care (LTC) facility. Care-dependent older adults should brush their teeth twice/day and regularly clean interproximal spaces and oral mucosa. Dentures should be rinsed after meals and thoroughly cleaned twice/day. The use of denture cleansing tablets was considered necessary. Dentures should be removed before sleeping and stored dry. High concentration fluoride toothpaste (5000 ppm) should applied daily in care-dependent older adults with high caries risk. A short report on the oral health status of the older adult should be included within the overall medical assessment. The subject experts concluded that knowledge and training in oral health care for caregivers and family members of care-dependent older people was extremely important. Conclusions: Using the e-Delphi method, healthcare professionals from different backgrounds and different countries agreed on a number of recommendations for a standard in oral health care for care-dependent older people.
|Publication status||Accepted - 20 Oct 2020|