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On-line version ISSN 1807-5762
UNFER, Beatriz; BRAUN, Kátia; SILVA, Caroline Pafiadache da and PEREIRA FILHO, Léo Dias. Self-perception of the loss of teeth among the elderly. Interface (Botucatu) [online]. 2006, vol.10, n.19, pp. 217-226. ISSN 1807-5762. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1414-32832006000100015.
The objective of this work was to analyze the perceptions of a group of elderly people regarding loss of teeth. A qualitative study was conducted that used the Discourse of the Collective Subject as a methodological technique for ordering the data. The analysis of the interviews and the construction of the Discourse of the Collective Subject disclosed information on the thoughts and values associated with the loss of teeth within this group. The main results suggest that the lack of teeth caused functional and psychological problems, but that these appeared to be offset by solving the aesthetic problem. The justifications disclosed by the collective subject for edentulism predominantly reflect the healthcare model, which focuses on surgical, restorative and rehabilitation procedures, to the detriment of preventive actions and the promotion of health. Thus, the development of initiatives in the field of education and prevention regarding oral health is essential, emphasizing actions that target paying total, overall attention to the elderly, the social dimension of the illnesses standing out, as well as the role of the State as supplier of health and quality of life for all citizens.
Keywords : elderly; oral health; self-perception.