STATEMENT OF PROBLEM: Previous evaluations of life satisfaction and health have not completely explained the impact of social network, social support, and economics on the oral health-related behavior of elderly patients, particularly in relation to missing teeth. PURPOSE: This study measured the strength of associations between social network/support/class and the use of complete and removable partial dentures in elderly patients living independently. MATERIAL AND METHODS: A multiple stepwise logistic regression was used to contrast data from previous studies relating to the subject and to explore the influence of these social variables. RESULTS: The results substantiated the links observed in a previous study between some social features and oral fitness. More frequent use of complete dentures was identified among participants who reported higher incomes and among those who thought their incomes were sufficient for their needs. Unreplaced missing anterior teeth were associated more commonly with subjects less willing or able to leave their homes. CONCLUSIONS: Some salient features of prosthodontic care and oral health status were common to 2, comparable social environments. A minority within the elderly population may not see a need to make use of clinical dental services, regardless of how accessible these services are to them. Social network and social support issues may be important determinants in this perceived need to use clinical services.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Oral Surgery