To investigate the factors that increase the risk of discontinuing dental care utilisation after dementia is diagnosed in a population in Stockholm County, Sweden.
As the progression of dementia results in a deteriorating ability to maintain good oral health, it is important to identify people at risk of discontinued dental care after being diagnosed with dementia.
This study is a register-based longitudinal study. Data were extracted from the Swedish Dementia Registry (SveDem), the Swedish National Patient Register, the Dental Health Register and the Municipal Dental Care Register (Stockholm County Council). The data included people using both general public dental services and care-dependent individuals. Dental visits three years before and after dementia had been diagnosed were analysed.
In total, 10 444 people were included in the analysis, of which 19% did not have dental visits recorded after they were diagnosed with dementia. A logistic regression model, adjusted for relevant factors, showed that the factors associated with a greater risk for discontinued dental attendance were fewer remaining teeth (OR = 0.96, 95% CI = 0.95, 0.97) and living alone compared to living with another adult (OR = 1.23, 95% CI = 1.05, 1.43). People with Parkinson's disease dementia had a lower risk (OR = 0.40, 95% CI = 0.19, 0.84) than people with Alzheimer's disease.
Patients, dental and healthcare personnel, and family members should all be aware of these risk factors so that appropriate support and oral care for people with dementia can be delivered.