Oral health-related quality of life, oral aesthetics and oral function in head and neck cancer patients after oral rehabilitation

J Oral Rehabil. 2019 Aug;46(8):738-746. doi: 10.1111/joor.12806. Epub 2019 May 7.


Head and neck cancer (HNC) is diagnosed in more than 500 000 patients every year worldwide with increasing prevalence. Oral rehabilitation is often needed after HNC treatment to regain oral function, aesthetics and oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL). The objectives were to evaluate OHRQoL, oral aesthetics and oral function after oral rehabilitation in HNC patients and compare it to that of non-HNC patients. Eighteen patients treated for HNC who subsequently had oral rehabilitation (2014-2017), and a control group of eighteen age- and gender-matched non-HNC patients treated with removable prostheses (2014-2018) were included in a cross-sectional study. The OHRQoL was assessed by the Oral Health Impact Profile 49 questionnaire (OHIP-49), the oral aesthetics by the Prosthetic Esthetic Index (PEI) and the Orofacial Esthetic Scale (OES), and the oral function by the Nordic Orofacial Test-Screening (NOT-S). The HNC patients had worse oral function and OHRQoL than the control patients (mean NOT-S score 4.56 vs 0.56, P < 0.01 and mean OHIP-49 score 42.50 vs 20.94, P = 0.050). When including number of replaced teeth and type of prosthesis in the tests, no significant difference in OHRQoL was found between the groups. No difference was found in the overall aesthetic outcomes (mean PEI total score 32.28 vs 30.67, P = 0.367 and mean OES total score 48.78 vs 53.56, P = 0.321). Multiple regression analyses showed that being HNC patient compared to control patient impaired the oral function. Oral function is significantly impaired in HNC patients compared to non-HNC patients after oral rehabilitation.

Keywords: dental prosthesis; head and neck neoplasms; mouth rehabilitation; prosthodontics; quality of life; treatment outcome.

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Esthetics, Dental
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms*
  • Humans
  • Oral Health
  • Quality of Life*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires