Study: Implant-Retained Dentures Provide a Higher-Quality of Life

A new study has found that the type of denture used by patients has a direct impact on their long-term satisfaction with their oral health-related quality of life. According to a recent article from Dr.Bicuspid.com, those with implant-retained overdentures reported a significantly higher quality of life than those with conventional options.

The study, recently published in the journal Clinical Implant Dentistry and Related Research, took place over more than 2o years with researchers studying patients with both implant-retained or conventional dentures.

“The major finding from this study is that a worse quality of life was shown in the group of patients who had conventional dentures in relation with the group with implant-retained overdentures, who experienced significant improvements,” wrote the authors, led by Marian Sánchez-Siles, DDS, PhD, a dentist and oral surgeon in Murica, Spain.

The effects of having dentures reach far beyond aesthetics and oral health. They can have an impact on physical health as well as psychological and social well-being. Despite this fact, there hasn’t been much research into how this restorative tool affects a patient’s life.

“In dentistry, the development of tools designed to measure the quality of life is relatively recent,” said the authors. “Therefore, this has become of great interest to the patient’s perspective and the benefits of various treatment options.”

The goal of the study was to compare quality of life outcomes for more costly implant-retained dentures versus the less expensive, conventional option. The team recruited 80 edentulous participants with an average age of 84. Half of the participants had conventional dentures while half had overdentures retained on 2 or 4 dental implants and cast bars. Participants answered a 14-question Oral Health Impact Profile (OHIP), gauging how they feel their oral health affects their quality of life. The scale ranges from 0 to 56, with lower scores corresponding to better quality of life.

“The results of this study demonstrated that [oral health-related quality of life] improved following delivery of conventional dentures and of two implant-retained overdentures and that the treatment effect was stable over time,” the authors wrote. “However, the magnitude of the treatment effect was significantly larger for the implant group.”

The researchers further found that the only people who reported being dissatisfied with their oral health-related quality of life had conventional dentures.

“One of the most important facts is that only in the group with implant-supported [overdentures] we can find people extremely satisfied and the rest satisfied,” said the authors. “Whereas in the group with conventional dentures, we find only satisfied, a little satisfied, no change, and dissatisfied.”

Obviously, the study shows that implant-retained overdentures have a significant and long-lasting effect on patients’ quality of life when compared with conventional dentures, but the researchers acknowledge that more studies need to be completed. This specific study failed to include a group who were not edentulous, nor did they include patients with severe periodontitis, osteoporosis, bone metabolic disease, or uncontrolled diabetes, all which could affect the implant experience.   In the future, the team recommends more studies with a larger sample, to evaluate the effect of treatment on oral health-related quality of life.

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