Background: Self-care and professional care of implants may prove difficult for elderly people who require nursing care. However, the actual state of care and problems remains unknown. In this study, we investigated the actual state of implant problems in elderly people living in their own home or in a nursing home who received visiting dental treatment. Methods: We mailed questionnaire survey forms to 2339 representatives or specialists who were members of the Japanese Society of Oral Implantology, the Japanese Society of Gerodontology or the Japan Prosthodontic Society. We narrowed down the respondents to those who provided visiting dental treatment, and analyzed the actual state of implants observed during visiting dental treatment (type, care, problems, countermeasures, etc.). Results: Of the 924 dentists who responded to the questionnaire survey, 291 (22%) provided visiting dental treatment. While the majority of implant types encountered in the previous 12 months were root-form implants, there were still a certain number of blade and subperiosteal implants. Daily implant care involved mostly cleaning with a toothbrush + auxiliary tools. The most frequent implant problems encountered in the past were difficulty in cleaning and peri-implantitis. Medication and antiphlogistic treatment were most frequently adopted as countermeasures to implant problems, followed by observation. When we classified the results into those for the dentists who provided implant treatment and those for the dentists who did not, we found that many of the dentists who did not provide implant treatment opted for observation or medication, while those who provided implant treatment also implemented removal of superstructure, retightening of screws, repair and so forth. Conclusions: We found that many of the implant troubles encountered by dentists who provided visiting dental care were difficulty in cleaning or peri-implantitis, and that the actions taken against these troubles varied depending on the experience of the dentist performing the implant treatment. Our study also revealed that dentists who provide visiting dental care need to acquire knowledge and skills of implant treatment, to have actions prepared in case they encounter such cases, or to closely coordinate with dentists who specialize in implants.
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