Objectives: An important purpose of denture treatment is the improvement of nutritional intake. This is especially important for the dependent elderly who have a high risk of protein-energy malnutrition. To evaluate the impact of denture treatment on such a population, we compared body weight as an indicator of nutritional status before and 6 months after prosthodontic treatment.
Methods: This study was conducted in a long-term care geriatric hospital in Hiroshima, Japan from October 2004 to September 2006. One hundred and four patients received complete or partial denture treatment in both jaws. Nineteen patients were lost to the study because of the development of severe physical conditions or death. Among the remaining 85 patients, 66 used their new prostheses and 19 did not. Body weight and serum albumin levels were examined at prosthesis insertion and 6 months after treatment.
Results: Six months after prosthodontic treatment body weight changes were significantly different between users and non-users regardless of denture type and, in addition, serum albumin level were significantly increased among individuals using partial denture in either or both jaws (P < 0.05).
Conclusion: It can be concluded that prosthodontic treatment may improve the nutritional status of institutionalized elderly.