Is the shortened dental arch an underused treatment strategy in the Republic of Ireland?

H Guiney, G McKenna, H Whelton, D O'Mullane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVES: To determine the proportion of Republic of Ireland 35-44 and 65+ year-olds currently satisfying the criteria for a classic shortened dental arch (SDA) of 20 anterior teeth.

RESEARCH DESIGN: Secondary analysis of data collected in the 2000/02 epidemiological survey of the oral health of Irish adults.

CLINICAL SETTING: Participants underwent a clinical oral examination in health board dental clinics and completed a detailed interview pertaining to dental and general health.

PARTICIPANTS: The analysis is based on a random sample of adults, aged 35 to 44 years (n = 978), and 65 years and older (n = 714).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The SDA was measured as 20 teeth in the mouth in the positions normally described as from the left second premolar to the right second premolar in each arch.

RESULTS: Only one of the 35-44 year-olds and none of the 65+ year-olds had teeth in their mouths in positions normally described as a classic SDA. However, of the 35-44 year old age group only five patients who had at least a premolar dentition of 20 contiguous teeth had been provided with a removable denture compared to one patient from the 65+ years group.

CONCLUSIONS: Very few older patients in the Republic of Ireland have a SDA based on the measure used. However, very few have been provided with removable dentures where they already possess at least a premolar dentition of 20 contiguous teeth. Suggested reasons for this may include limitations of the data recorded, patient preferences and economic factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-8
Number of pages4
JournalCommunity Dental Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health
  • Bicuspid
  • Cuspid
  • Dental Arch
  • Denture Design
  • Denture, Complete
  • Denture, Partial
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incisor
  • Ireland
  • Jaw, Edentulous, Partially
  • Male
  • Patient Preference


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