Tooth loss is a reality for many people, especially postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. Women who are concerned with their appearance already struggle after menopause with weight gain, hair loss, an increase in facial hair and other disturbing side effects. Missing teeth can be a source of embarrassment and anxiety, which leads many to turn to restorative dentistry. In this day and age, there are many options when looking to replace a missing tooth, but thanks to a new study out of Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine, researchers have determined which choice is most popular after the fact.
In the first study of its kind, scientists set out to examine the quality of life after treatment to replace missing teeth in osteoporotic women, according to a recent article from Science Daily. The study involved surveying 237 women with replacement teeth and finding out about how satisfied they are in their work, health, emotional and sexual aspects of their lives. The participants were all from the Case/Cleveland Clinic Postmenopausal Wellness Collaboration, which is part of a database of health-related information on approximately 900 women with osteoporosis. Of those surveyed, 64 had dental implants, 60 chose a fixed partial denture, 47 had a removable denture, and 66 had no restoration work done. The short, 23-question survey produced some pretty interesting findings, which were published in the Journal of International Dentistry, as part of a series of studies analyzing dental outcomes for women with osteoporosis.
According to the publication, women with dental implants reported a higher satisfaction with their lives when compared to the other methods. The next highest rated option was fixed dentures, followed by removable dentures, with the women with no restoration work done being the least satisfied. Individuals with dental implants scored the highest in areas of emotional and sexual satisfaction, while those without restoratives scored the lowest. Researchers on the team claim that this data is helpful in driving the decision-making process of dental professionals when determining what’s best for the patients. More and more practices are moving to a patient-centered form of delivering dental services, which makes it that much more crucial to understand the long-term outcomes of care.