The oral health of older adults requiring long-term services and supports is reported to be poor as there is no national standard of care for the provision of oral health care. The purpose of this scoping review was to understand the breadth of models of delivery and financing of oral health care in the full spectrum of long-term services and supports.
Types of Studies Reviewed
A literature search was performed in 4 electronic databases: MEDLINE via PubMed interface, Embase, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and AgeLine. Included articles were those that were regarding a nursing home population or dependent older adults living in the community, included a delivery or financing model for oral health care, and included an outcome measurement.
Sixteen articles were included in the review. Delivery mechanisms included onsite mobile oral health care at nursing homes and adult day health care centers for those living in the community or home visits for those who were homebound. Other mechanisms included teledentistry or using alternative workforce models such as certified public health dental hygienists. Numerous studies reported positive oral health outcomes when comprehensive care was provided in a variety of settings. Other reported outcomes included oral health stability, caries indexes, cost, and oral health–related quality of life.
Conclusions and Practical Implications
If providing onsite oral health care is not possible at facilities, programs can consider home visits, teledentistry, and alternative workforce models.