An observational cohort study on shortened dental arches--clinical course during a period of 27-35 years
SourceClinical Oral Investigations, 17, 3, (2013), pp. 859-866
Article / Letter to editor
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Clinical Oral Investigations
SubjectNCEBP 7: Effective primary care and public health
OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was to investigate the clinical course of shortened dental arches ('SDA group') compared to SDAs plus removable denture prosthesis ('SDA plus RDP group') and complete dental arches ('CDA group', controls). MATERIALS AND METHODS: Data (numbers of direct and indirect restorations, endodontic treatments, tooth loss and tooth replacements) were extracted from patient records of subjects attending the Nijmegen Dental School who previously participated in a cohort study on shortened dental arches with three to four posterior occluding pairs (POPs). RESULTS: Records of 35 % of the original cohort were retrievable. At the end of the follow-up (27.4 +/- 7.1 years), 20 out of 23 SDA subjects still had SDA with 3-4 POPs compared to 6 out of 13 for SDA plus RDP subjects (follow-up 32.6 +/- 7.3 years). Sixteen out of 23 CDA subjects still had CDA; none of them lost more than one POP (follow-up 35.0 +/- 5.6 years). SDA group lost 67 teeth: 16 were not replaced, 16 were replaced by FDP and 35 teeth (lost in three subjects) replaced by RDP. Mean number of treatments per year in SDA subjects differed not significantly compared to CDA subjects except for indirect restorations in the upper jaw. CONCLUSION: Shortened dental arches can last for 27 years and over. Clinical course in SDA plus RDP is unfavourable, especially when RDP-related interventions are taken into account. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: The shortened dental arch concept seems to be a relevant approach from a cost-effective point of view. Replacement of absent posterior teeth by free-end RDP cannot be recommended.
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