Patients' self-perceived impacts and prosthodontic needs at the time and after tooth loss.

Teófilo LT, Leles CR.

Department of Prevention and Oral Rehabilitation, School of Dentistry, Federal University of Goiás, Goiânia, GO, Brazil. Braz Dent J. 2007;18(2):91-6

Studies on self-perception have demonstrated that tooth loss is associated with esthetic, functional, psychological and social impacts for individuals. However, not all subjects seek treatment immediately after tooth loss, even when desire for replacement is strongly expressed. The aim of this study was to evaluate the perception of patients submitted to tooth extraction about factors associated with tooth loss and prosthodontic treatment, at the time and after extraction. A convenience sample of 211 consecutive patients were clinically evaluated and answered to a questionnaire about perceived impacts and prosthodontic treatment needs. Data were collected at the time of extraction and after a 3-month time interval. Perceived impacts were high (21 to 76% at the time and 35 to 87% after extraction). From 72.5% patients who expressed intention of immediate replacement of edentulous spaces, only 8.1% had actually been treated. Financial limitation was considered the most important factor that restricted access to treatment. Bivariate statistical analysis showed association between immediate dental replacement and anterior tooth loss (p=0.00) and extension of edentulous space (p=0.01). Position of lost teeth was associated to perceived functional limitation (p=0.03). Worsened appearance was associated to tooth loss in the maxillary arch (p=0.02), and desire of prosthodontic treatment was associated to the extension of edentulous space (p=0.05). Perceived impacts were more frequent in women than men. It was concluded that although patients usually expressed prosthodontic treatment needs, clinical and financial issues are determinant factors for tooth replacement.


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