Purpose: Little is known about why people accept or refuse oral implant treatment. The purpose of this study was to assess edentulous subjects' acceptance or refusal of free implants to retain mandibular dentures, and to evaluate factors that might predict those who are more likely to choose implants.
Materials and methods: One hundred one volunteers completed questionnaires about their background, satisfaction with conventional dentures, oral health-related quality of life, and preference for implants. Results were analyzed using Pearson chi-square tests and logistic regression.
Results: While 79% of volunteers accepted and 21% refused an initial offer of free implants, a number of them changed their minds, leaving 64% who wanted implants and 36% who did not want them. The most common reason for choosing implants was anticipation of improved mandibular denture stability or security (73%), while the most common reason for refusal was concern about surgical risks (43%). A logistic regression model identifying those who complained of poor chewing function, poor speech, pain, and dissatisfaction with appearance improved the prediction of those who wanted implants from 64% to 80%.
Conclusion: When cost was removed as a factor, more than one third (36%) of the older, edentulous participants in this study ultimately refused an offer of free implants to retain their mandibular dentures. Poor chewing function, poor speech, pain, and dissatisfaction with appearance were the most important factors in predicting who would choose implants.