Outcomes with a posterior reduced dental arch: a randomised controlled trial
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OBJECTIVE: To compare function, patient satisfaction and quality of life of patients with a posterior reduced mandibular arch with those who had all missing teeth replaced with removable partial dentures. METHODS: Patients with at least 3 and not more than 6 posterior occluding pairs of teeth were enrolled sequentially and randomized into one of two treatment groups: a denture and no denture group. A research assistant allocated interventions; concealment was ensured using opaque-sealed envelopes. Analysis of data was performed in stages, adding samples of 10 incrementally, and stopping when the relevant statistical tests indicated a clear conclusion as judged by the power set at 80% or above. Study outcomes included patient satisfaction, function and survival of remaining teeth at 3 and 12 months post-intervention, using a visual analogue scale and the Oral Impacts on Daily Performance) Statistical analysis was performed by the ‘intention-to-treat’ principle. RESULTS: Age range of included patients was 23-55 years (mean=42.3; SD=9.2), with 78% being females. Most patients (70%) belonged to the low- or no-income group. Nine patients left the study, for different reasons. Primary outcomes for the denture group: 10% of the patients were not satisfied and 20% were unhappy with their function; for the no-denture group: 85% of the patients (with 15% having left the study) were satisfied with both their function and their non-denture status. CONCLUSION: Patients with posterior reduced mandibular dental arches reported greater perceived satisfaction, function and quality of life compared to those who had received a cobalt-chrome clasp-retained partial removable prosthesis.