Effect of Complete Dentures on Facial Soft Tissue Volume: A 3D Comparative Study

Int J Prosthodont. 2022 March/April;35(2):208–218. doi: 10.11607/ijp.7057. Epub 2021 Feb 19.


Purpose: To investigate the volumetric facial soft tissue changes associated with wearing complete dentures using 3D face scans.

Materials and methods: Forty volunteers, 20 men and 20 women, were recruited for the study and treated with maxillary and mandibular complete dentures. Six facial scans were taken of each subject. Three scans were wearing a complete denture, and three without them. The 3D face scans were captured with the volunteers in three mouth positions: closed, relaxed, and smiling. Each scan was superimposed in order to analyze and quantify the linear measurements of 14 soft tissue landmarks and the total volume that the subject gained with the prosthesis.

Results: Three variables were evaluated in each analysis: gender, mouth attitude, and age category. In the analysis of the soft tissue landmarks, there was a significant effect of age, with patients older than 75 years showing the greatest changes (P < .05). The landmarks that showed the most changes were those located around the mouth. In the volume analysis, the variable with the highest influence was gender, with men gaining more volume than women (P < .05).

Conclusion: Complete dentures have a significant effect on volumetric change in perioral tissues. These changes are marked in patients older than 75 years. Compared to women, men depicted greater volumetric changes with complete dentures. These results open a new avenue for clinicians and developers using face scans to design future restorations for edentulous patients.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Denture, Complete*
  • Face
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mandible
  • Maxilla
  • Mouth, Edentulous* / diagnostic imaging