Purpose: To investigate the influence of impaired masticatory function on the oral health-related quality of life of conventional complete denture wearers before and after the transition to implant-retained mandibular overdentures.
Materials and methods: Masticatory function and oral health-related quality of life were evaluated in 40 edentulous patients after 3 months of adaptation to complete dentures and after transition to implant-retained mandibular overdentures. Masticatory function was evaluated through the swallowing threshold test with a standardized portion of an artificial test food (Optocal) to determine median particle size (×50) and homogenization index (B). After the test, the masticatory function outcomes were used to categorize patients in 2 groups according to chewing performance: (i) satisfactory or (ii) unsatisfactory. The cutoff value for ×50 was based on a preestablished value of 3.68 mm, whereas for the B index, median values were adopted for categorization. The oral health-related quality of life was analyzed via the Oral Health Impact Profile for Edentulous Adults (OHIP-EDENT) questionnaire. The Mann-Whitney test was used to compare masticatory function outcomes and OHIP-EDENT scores, and associations were checked using the Spearman correlation test and multiple linear regression.
Results: Masticatory function was significantly correlated with functional limitation (p = 0.02) and physical disability (p = 0.04) for complete denture wearers with unsatisfactory masticatory function. After the transition to implant-retained mandibular overdentures, only the psychological discomfort domain (p = 0.02) was influenced by the masticatory function category. Multiple linear regression analysis revealed that only the functional limitation domain (p < 0.001) of the complete denture wearers was associated with masticatory function outcomes.
Conclusions: Implant-retained mandibular overdentures eliminate the problems that lead to functional limitations, consequently improving masticatory function and oral health-related quality of life of these individuals; however, patients with unsatisfactory masticatory function after transition to implant-retained mandibular overdentures still experience more psychological discomfort.
Keywords: Conventional complete dentures; edentulous patient; implant-retained mandibular overdenture; masticatory function; oral health-related quality of life; swallowing threshold.
© 2019 by the American College of Prosthodontists.