Health Policy

Preventive dental care among Medicaid-enrolled senior adults: from community to nursing facility residence

Kelly, M.C.; Caplan, D.J.; Bern-Klug, M.; Cowen, H.J.; Cunningham-Ford, M.A.; Marchini, L.; Momany, E.T.


The primary objective of this study was to determine whether the utilization rate of preventive oral health care services while senior adults were community‐dwelling differed from the rate after those same senior adults were admitted to nursing facilities. A secondary objective was to evaluate other significant predictors of receipt of preventive oral health procedures after nursing facility entry.

Iowa Medicaid claims from 2007–2014 were accessed for adults who were 68+ years upon entry to a nursing facility and continuously enrolled in Medicaid for at least three years before and at least two years after admission (n = 874). Univariate, bivariate and multivariable analyses were conducted.

During the five years that subjects were followed, 52.8% never received a dental exam and 75.9% never received a dental hygiene procedure. More Medicaid‐enrolled senior adults received ≥1 preventive dental procedure in the two years while residing in a nursing facility compared to the three years before entry. In multivariable analyses, the strongest predictor of preventive oral health care utilization after entry was the receipt of preventive oral health services before entry (p < 0.01).

The strongest predictor of receipt of dental procedures in the two years after nursing facility entry was the receipt of dental procedures in the three years before entry while community‐dwelling. This underscores the importance of the senior adult establishing a source of dental care while community‐dwelling.


Kelly, Mary C, Daniel J Caplan, Mercedes Bern-Klug, Howard J Cowen, Marsha A Cunningham-Ford, Leonardo Marchini, and Elizabeth T Momany. 2018. Preventive Dental Care Among Medicaid-Enrolled Senior Adults: From Community To Nursing Facility Residence 7829601356939313471122743510385294 (123Suppl 21414311 Pt 192). Journal Of Public Health Dentistry: 86 - 92. doi:10.1111/jphd.12247.