Provision of dental care in aged care facilities NSW Australia- Part 2 as perceived by the carers (care providers)

Bettine C. Webb, Terry Whittle, Eli Schwarz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objectives To investigate carers' perception of the provision of dental care in aged care facilities (ACFs) New South Wales (NSW), Australia. Background Carers are responsible for 'hands-on, day-to-day' care of residents, including dental care, yet there were no specific figures available concerning their role in NSW ACFs. Materials and Methods Questionnaires were mailed to 406 NSW directors of nursing (DONs) requesting completion by a carer who was proficient in English and without the influence of the DON. The 23-item questionnaire was presented in 4 sections, and the data qualitatively analysed. Results 211 questionnaires were completed and returned, giving a response rate of 52%. Carers were mostly female (91.9%) in the 40-50 and >50 age groups. Oral health training had been received by 66.7% of carers, and although 73.2% thought that their training was adequate, carers in general requested further training. Long waiting periods for government dental services (69.4%) and resident unable to communicate oral health problems (69.2%) were seen as the most frequent barriers to dental care. Almost all carers reported the availability of electric tooth brushes, fluoride gel, disclosing tablets/gel, interdental brushes and the use of a foam mouth prop, while few reported the use of other dental care products. Conclusion As carers provided almost all of oral health care for residents, emphasis should be placed on training in geriatric dental care techniques and use of dental products.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)254-259
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • dental care
  • dental hygiene
  • geriatric dentistry.
  • nursing homes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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