Demographic and social changes and occurrence of oral diseases among elderly people. Status and development
Due to the demographic development, which has taken place during the last decades, the number of elderly people in the population is still increasing. Most elderly persons have a high level of oral diseases, which are accumulated through their life. This means that these people have a considerable need for repair and/or maintenance of their restorations, even if the amount of untreated caries is modest. In addition, there is a certain need for preventing a development of periodontal diseases in the age group.
In the group of the oldest old people, it appears that the need of dental care is much comprehensive. It can be foreseen that there will be an increase of these very old population groups and there will be an increasing need for dental care, not only basic dental services, but also more technically advanced types of treatment.
The greatest challenges for the dental care systems are those people, who no longer are able to use the available dental care system for the adult population because of physical or mental barriers. The same barriers prevent these people from being able to brush and clean their teeth. In these groups, dental health decreases in very short time.
Meanwhile more and more weak elderly persons have more and more natural teeth, the occurrence of dental diseases will increase. Such development requires effective dental health programs for these population groups.