Radio frequency identification (RFID) of dentures in long-term care facilities

J Prosthet Dent. 2012 Mar;107(3):199-202. doi: 10.1016/S0022-3913(12)60057-2.


Statement of problem: The difficulty of identifying the ownership of lost dentures when found is a common and expensive problem in long term care facilities (LTCFs) and hospitals.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the reliability of using radiofrequency identification (RFID) in the identification of dentures for LTCF residents after 3 and 6 months.

Material and methods: Thirty-eight residents of 2 LTCFs in Switzerland agreed to participate after providing informed consent. The tag was programmed with the family and first names of the participants and then inserted in the dentures. After placement of the tag, the information was read. A second and third assessment to review the functioning of the tag occurred at 3 and 6 months, and defective tags (if present) were reported and replaced. The data were analyzed with descriptive statistics.

Results: At the 3-month assessment of 34 residents (63 tags) 1 tag was unreadable and 62 tags (98.2%) were operational. At 6 months, the tags of 27 of the enrolled residents (50 tags) were available for review. No examined tag was defective at this time period.

Conclusions: Within the limits of this study (number of patients, 6-month time span) RFID appears to be a reliable method of tracking and identifying dentures, with only 1 of 65 devices being unreadable at 3 months and 100% of 50 initially placed tags being readable at the end of the trial.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Denture Identification Marking / instrumentation
  • Denture Identification Marking / methods*
  • Denture, Complete
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Long-Term Care
  • Male
  • Radio Frequency Identification Device / methods*
  • Radio Frequency Identification Device / standards
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Residential Facilities*