Monday, December 22, 2008

Differences in masticatory function in patients with endodontically treated teeth and single-implant-supported prostheses: a pilot study.

J Endod. 2009 Jan;35(1):10-4. Epub 2008 Nov 18.

Woodmansey KF, Ayik M, Buschang PH, White CA, He J.

Department of Endodontics, Baylor College of Dentistry, The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center, Dallas, Texas 75246, USA.

Endodontic treatment and dental implants are both viable treatment options to restore a compromised dentition. How these treatments impact patients' ability to chew has not been studied. The purpose of this study was to compare various parameters of masticatory function in patients with endodontically treated teeth and single-implant supported prostheses. Fifty patients were included in this study. Twenty-five patients had mandibular molar root canals, and 25 had single implant-supported prostheses in the mandibular molar region. The natural tooth contralateral to the treated side served as the internal control. Maximum bite force, chewing efficiency, and areas of occlusal contact and near contact (ACNC) were recorded for each subject, along with a questionnaire to evaluate subjective chewing ability. When compared with contralateral controls, dental implants were found to have significantly lower maximum bite forces, reduced chewing efficiency, and smaller ACNC. Endodontically treated teeth were not statistically different than their contralateral controls. These results indicate that endodontically treated natural teeth may provide more effective occlusal contact during masticatory function compared with implant-supported restorations, leading to more efficient mastication.

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