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 Table of Contents  
CLINICAL TECHNIQUES
Year : 2023  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 96-98

Denture tracker for edentulous Alzheimer's patients


Department of Prosthodontics, Sri Ramaswami Memorial Dental College, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission03-May-2022
Date of Decision08-Jul-2022
Date of Acceptance18-Jul-2022
Date of Web Publication29-Dec-2022

Correspondence Address:
Naveen Gopi Chander
Department of Prosthodontics, Sri Ramaswami Memorial Dental College, Ramapuram, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jips.jips_223_22

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  Abstract 


Dementia in Alzheimer's disease complicates the caregivers in tracking the patients. Many options are discussed in the literature. A novel technique is essential to improve the quality of life and to assist in locating the patients. The Global Position System (GPS) trackers are attached to dentures and the movements are observed through a mobile application. This technique discusses on a simple method of tracking Alzheimer's edentulous patients with the support of removable dentures. Denture tracking devices are a secured form of tracking patients. A GPS device in dentures assists in locating the patient's movement and supports the caretakers.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease, dementia, Global Position System tracker, wandering behavior


How to cite this article:
Chander NG, Reddy DV. Denture tracker for edentulous Alzheimer's patients. J Indian Prosthodont Soc 2023;23:96-8

How to cite this URL:
Chander NG, Reddy DV. Denture tracker for edentulous Alzheimer's patients. J Indian Prosthodont Soc [serial online] 2023 [cited 2023 Feb 6];23:96-8. Available from: https://www.j-ips.org/text.asp?2023/23/1/96/365944




  Introduction Top


Alzheimer's disease accounts for 60%–80% of dementia patients. Attempts were made across the world to discover the methods to prevent its development, hinder the onset, and to treat the disease.[1] The treatment procedures cannot prevent dementia but it can reduce the progress of symptoms.[2] Among the issues of dementia, there are possibilities of losing the patients due to disorientation and wandering.[3],[4] This is a serious problem to the caregivers. Many methods were studied and suggested to overcome this limitation.[5],[6]

The World Health Organization and the National Institute on Aging-related tooth loss as a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's patients are mostly associated with teeth loss and required prostheses to improve their oral function and quality of life.[7] Attaching a tracker to the dentures and tracing the patients through the Global Position System (GPS) modules can be helpful to the care providers. With the advances in technology, the caregivers can be provided with easy and economic options in tracking these patients. Many mobile devices and techniques operating through GPS were designed.[5] Major issues existing in costing and devices may not be used by the patients.[6] GPS trackers attached to the denture are simple, economic, and convenient to use for the patient. It provides required support to the caregivers in tracking the patients and improves the oral health quality of life.


  Procedure Top


The dentures were fabricated by conventional procedures. The position of the sensors was located and marked on the maxillary denture [Figure 1]. A sheet of light polymerizing acrylic sheet (Profibase; VOCO GmbH) was adapted over the defined position of the sensors. The sensors were placed on the positioned light polymerized sheet and it was spot cured for 5 s to trim/remove the excess materials. Postremoving the flash material, the denture along with sensors was light polymerized according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Figure 1: Tentative positioning of tracker on the denture

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A clear thermoforming material (Clear Bioplast® Material; Biostar®, NY, United States) was vacuumed and pressed over the placed sensors. The pressed thermoforming material sheet was shaped to cover and protect the sensors. The extension of thermoplastic sheet over the USB plug of the sensor was removed and sealed with room temperature vulcanizing silicone (M511 Platinum silicone, Technovent) [Figure 2]. The power switch of the sensors was turned on and it was activated in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. The GPS-attached denture can be used to locate the position of the patient and it can be tracked through the mobile application [Figure 3].
Figure 2: Vacuum-packed denture tracker with thermoforming materials

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Figure 3: Denture tracking through the mobile application

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  Discussion Top


A GPS tracker device is designed to be attached to the maxillary or mandibular denture. The signals sent by the tracker will be received and decoded through the mobile phones. The tracker design works with Android, iPhone, and other applications. The device shall send information on location, speed, distance traveled, and route through the established free mapping systems available on the phone networks. A long-distance accuracy design of tracking shall be adapted and the module allows the device to be tracked even in difficult areas. The tracker was designed to provide auto report position. The username, password, and authorized number facilities shall be provided to enhance accuracy. In addition, the device incorporated the features of low battery alert, remote monitoring, and geofence alert on movement and speed. These features can assist in tracking and checking the patients. The battery life varies between 40 and 48 h and it is rechargeable. In addition, the device is programed to work on a low-power charge. The limitations of bulkiness, phonetics, and difficulty in palatal adaptation can be reduced with advanced technology.

The GPS denture tracker can aid in establishing the contact of wandering Alzheimer's patients. It can improve the quality of life and care both to the patient and caregiver. Many GPS tracking devices such as pocket tracking devices, clothing attachments, and wearable – bracelets, watches, necklaces, and pendants are commercially available; the use of sensor trackers in dentures is simple, novel, and effective approach in edentulous or partially edentulous patients.[5] The technique can be employed in situations where the dentures are fabricated in edentulous patients or in palatal plates for dentulous Alzheimer's patients. It is comparatively economical with the use of open-source platforms. The thought and technique can be used with extensive modifications to benefit the needy. In addition, since the device is attached to the denture, there are lesser chances to forget or lose it in Alzheimer's patients.

The technique described is a prototype and the sensor employed in this technique is slightly bulky. Efforts can be made to use smaller size devices and suitable secured linking platforms. Smaller or nano-GPS sensor options are available but presently they are expensive.

The type of software system used in this technique was open sourced. Many dedicated software systems are available for tracking Alzheimer's patients. The system can be either customized or commercial models can be used in accordance with the needs. An exclusive denture tracking network for Alzheimer's can provide simple and more economic options for tracking participants in future.


  Conclusion Top


The technique described provides a simplified approach to track edentulous patients with Alzheimer's disease.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Scheltens P, Blennow K, Breteler MM, de Strooper B, Frisoni GB, Salloway S, et al. Alzheimer's disease. Lancet 2016;388:505-17.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Atri A. The Alzheimer's disease clinical spectrum: Diagnosis and management. Med Clin North Am 2019;103:263-93.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Barnard-Brak L, Richman DM, Owen DC. Assessing wandering risk among individuals with Alzheimer's disease and dementia: A pilot study. Psychogeriatrics 2018;18:388-92.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Solomon O, Lawlor MC. Beyond V40.31: Narrative phenomenology of wandering in autism and dementia. Cult Med Psychiatry 2018;42:206-43.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Petonito G, Muschert GW, Carr DC, Kinney JM, Robbins EJ, Brown JS. Programs to locate missing and critically wandering elders: A critical review and a call for multiphasic evaluation. Gerontologist 2013;53:17-25.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Gergerich E, Davis L. Silver alerts: A notification system for communities with missing adults. J Gerontol Soc Work 2017;60:232-44.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Fang WL, Jiang MJ, Gu BB, Wei YM, Fan SN, Liao W, et al. Tooth loss as a risk factor for dementia: Systematic review and meta-analysis of 21 observational studies. BMC Psychiatry 2018;18:345.  Back to cited text no. 7
    


    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]



 

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Abstract
Introduction
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Discussion
Conclusion
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