Subjective values of different treatments for missing molars in older Japanese

K Ikebe, T Hazeyama, R Kagawa, K Matsuda, Y Maeda
Journal of Oral Rehabilitation 2010, 37 (12): 892-9
The purpose of this study was to determine how elderly Japanese people subjectively value treatment options for missing molars. Subjects were 528 independently community-dwelling elderly people. They were presented with photographs and descriptions of the process and expected outcomes of five possible treatment options: cantilever fixed dental prosthesis (FDP); resin or metal removable partial denture prosthesis (RPDP); implant-supported fixed prosthesis; and no replacement (shortened dental arch: SDA) for missing lower bilateral first and second molars. The participants filled in the questionnaire on subjective importance for treatment and indicated on a visual analogue scale how they valued the treatment (utility value: UV). Values were analysed by Mann-Whitney U-tests and multiple logistic regression analyses. Overall, the UVs for the FDP and the metal RPDP were the highest, and the UV for the SDA was the lowest. With respect to subjective importance, 'chewing ability' and 'no pain during function' were significantly selected more frequently. Multiple logistic regression analyses showed that the UV for the resin RPDP had significant positive associations with denture wearers and low treatment cost, whereas the implant had significant negative associations with denture wearers and older age. The SDA had significant positive associations with men and low treatment cost and a negative association with appearance. In conclusion, these elderly Japanese preferred cantilever FDPs and metal RPDPs to implants and 'no replacement.' It suggests that the SDA as an oral health goal can be questionable from the patients' point of view, even if it is biologically correct.

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