Patient satisfaction following restoration of shortened mandibular dental arches in a randomized controlled trial

Nicholas Jepson, Finbarr Allen, Paula Moynihan, Peter Kelly, Mark Thomason
International Journal of Prosthodontics 2003, 16 (4): 409-14

PURPOSE: Removable partial dentures (RPD) used to restore the severely shortened mandible may adversely affect the remaining natural teeth and are associated with a low prevalence of use. This pilot study investigated patient satisfaction following restoration of mandibular shortened dental arches.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Sixty subjects with mandibular shortened dental arches entered a randomized controlled trial comparing two types of mandibular prostheses: bilateral free-end saddle RPDs and distal cantilever resin-bonded fixed partial dentures (FPD). Patient satisfaction was assessed using self-administered questionnaires before (baseline), 3 months after, and 1 year after provision of new prostheses.

RESULTS: Improvements in levels of general satisfaction with teeth, appearance of teeth, and perceived masticatory ability were significant for the FPD group. Significant improvements in perceived masticatory ability were noted for both groups. There were also significant improvements in perceived levels of comfort of mandibular prostheses in both groups. Changes in summary satisfaction scores indicated improved satisfaction for both treatment groups but suggested a larger clinical effect for the FPD group. Significant differences between treatment groups were not established.

CONCLUSION: Patient-based outcomes reported suggested that resin-bonded cantilever FPDs are an effective means of restoring the shortened mandibular dental arch in terms of patient comfort and acceptance.

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