Objectives: The objectives of this study were to investigate the impact of prosthetic rehabilitation of the shortened dental arch on the intake of nutrients, non-starch polysaccharide (NSP) fruits and vegetables (dietary fibre), and to compare dietary intakes between patients receiving bilateral resin-bonded bridges with patients receiving conventional partial dentures.
Methods: As part of an ongoing randomised clinical trial to compare the effectiveness of bilateral resin bonded bridges with conventional partial dentures, the diets of 40 partially dentate patients were assessed prior to and at 3 and 12 months following treatment with bilateral resin-bonded bridge-work or a lower partial denture.
Results: At baseline, three months post treatment and one year post treatment there were no significant differences in the intake of nutrients between groups. A significant increase in the percentage of energy from fat was observed in the patients fitted with a lower partial denture. Apart from this, prosthetic rehabilitation did not result in any other change in the intake of nutrients or in the amount of fruits and vegetables consumed. Levels of intake of NSP, fruits and vegetables were low in both groups of patients on all occasions measured.
Conclusions: Prosthetic rehabilitation of the severely shortened dental arch does not result in dietary improvements. Dietary advice that takes into account all the factors that influence food choice (such as taste, cost and cooking skills) needs to be considered in this at risk group.