Objectives: This study compared two tooth replacement strategies for partially dentate older patients namely; removable partial dentures (RPDs) and functionally orientated treatment based on the shortened dental arch (SDA) concept. Patients were compared in terms of chewing efficiency after prosthodontic rehabilitation. Methods: Chewing efficiency was assessed electronically by a two-colour gum-mixing test. Specimens were assembled from two different colours of chewing gums with a size of 30 x 18 x 3 mm. After participants chewed for 20 cycles, the gum was retrieved, flattened to a 1-mm-thick wafer, and digitized with a flatbed image scanner. The pixels of unmixed colour in the specimen were counted by means of Adobe Photoshop 2.0R software (Adobe Systems, San Jose, CA, USA), and the ratio to the pixels of the entire frame was computed. This ratio is called the Unmixed Fraction (UF). The more efficiently the specimen is chewed, the less unmixed colour remains, and the smaller the gum becomes. Consequently, a low unmixed fraction corresponds to good chewing efficiency. Results: 32 patients completed the chewing efficiency test (17 RPDs and 15 SDA). The mean UF recorded for the SDA group was not significantly different to that recorded for the RPD group (p>0.05, unpaired t-test). Conclusion: These results indicate that prosthodontic rehabilitation according to the principles of the SDA is equivalent to RPDs in terms of restoration of chewing ability for partially dentate older patients.
McKenna, G., & Schimmel, M. (2013). Impact of prosthodontic rehabilitation on the chewing efficiency of partially dentate older patients. Journal of Dental Research, 92(Spec. Iss B), . http://www.iadr.ie/meetings/