Objectives: This study aimed to compare two different tooth replacement strategies for partially dentate older patients; namely functionally orientated treatment according to the principles of the shortened dental arch (SDA) and conventional treatment using removable partial dentures (RPDs) using a randomised controlled clinical trial. The primary outcome measure for this study was impact on oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) measured using the short form of the oral health impact profile (OHIP-14).
Methods: Patients aged 65 years and older were randomly allocated to two different treatment groups: the RPD group and the SDA group. For the RPD group each patient was restored to complete arches with cobalt-chromium RPDs used to replace missing teeth. For the SDA group, patients were restored to a premolar occlusion of 10 occluding pairs of natural and replacement teeth using resin bonded bridgework (RBB). OHRQoL was measured using the OHIP-14 questionnaire administered at baseline, 1 month, 6 months and 12 months after treatment intervention.
Results: In total, 89 patients completed the RCT: 44 from the RPD group and 45 from the SDA group. Analysis using a mixed model of covariance (ANCOVA) illustrated that treatment according to the SDA concept resulted in significantly better mean OHIP-14 scores compared with RPD treatment (p < 0.05). This result was replicated in both treatment centres used in the study.
Conclusions: In terms of impact on OHRQoL, treatment based on the SDA concept achieved significantly better results than that based on RPDs 12 months after treatment intervention.
Clinical significance: Functionally orientated treatment delivery resulted in significantly better outcomes compared to removable dentures in terms of impact on OHRQoL.(C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.