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15-08-2011 | Article

Oral health-related QoL better with implant-supported fixed dentures


Free abstract

MedWire News: Oral health-related quality of life (QoL) is less impaired in patients with implant-supported fixed dentures (IDs) compared with those who have removable partial dentures (RPDs), research published in the Clinical Oral Implants Research suggests.

While the proportion of edentulous patients has declined in developed countries, the population of partially edentulous patients is expected to rise significantly in line with the aging population. While RPDs are the most common treatment for partially edentulous patients, the number of IDs being used is increasing.

It is widely accepted that IDs provide better patient satisfaction compared with RPDs, but a large proportion of the research has focused on the edentulous patient. Furthermore, how patient satisfaction related to oral health-related QoL is unknown.

In the present study Kazuyoshi Baba (Showa University, Tokyo, Japan) and colleagues compared the oral health-related QoL outcomes in partially edentulous patients treated with RPDs (n=109) or IDs (n=79). To measure QoL they used the Oral Health Impact Profile-Japanese(OHIP-J) version, which has 49 items derived from the English-language version of the OHIP plus 5 additional items that are specific for the Japanese population.

The RPD and ID groups were not well-matched at baseline with the RPD group being significantly older (66.5 vs 51.7 years), having a higher number of missing teeth (8.3 vs 3.2) and including patients who had used their current dentures for more than 12 months (65.1 vs 26.7%).

The ID group scored significantly less than the RPD group on all OHIP-J scores including the summary score (21.0 vs 38.0), functional limitation (6.4 vs 10.8) and physical pain (4.7 vs 7.4). There were significant correlations between the OHIP-J summary scores and age, duration of current denture use, and treatment type.

For both treatment groups, the two items that were the most frequently reported as occurring either occasionally, fairly often, or very often was "food catching in your teeth or dentures" followed by noticing "a tooth which doesn't look right". Both of these items were reported more frequently in the RPD than the ID group: 77% vs 56% and 39% vs 28%, respectively.

However, the authors highlighted a factor with their study in that patients were recruited consecutively and not in a randomized manner. This probably is the reason for the unbalanced enrolment in the two study arms.

Nevertheless, in conclusion, the authors state that "Within the limitations of this study, [oral health-related QoL] in patients with an implant-supported fixed denture are generally less impaired than those patients with RPDs."

By Iain Bartlett