To compare the success of two different tooth replacement strategies for partially dentate older adults; namely resin bonded bridgework (RBB) provided to restore patients according to the principles of the shortened dental arch concept (SDA) and conventional full-arch rehabilitation with removable dental prostheses (RDPs).
A randomised controlled clinical trial (RCT) was conducted with partially dentate adults aged 65¿years or older. Each patient from the RDP group had all missing natural teeth replaced with cobalt-chromium framework RDPs. Each patient from the SDA group was restored to 10 occluding pairs of natural and replacement teeth using RBB. Patients were followed-up at 6, 12, 24, 36 months. Success rates were generated according to defined success criteria. Log-rank tests and Cox's proportional hazard models were used to compare the success of the two treatment strategies.
After 36 months, 89 patients completed the RCT; n¿=¿45 in the RDP group and n¿=¿44 in the SDA group. The overall success rate of the SDA treatment was 90.4% compared to 73.0% for RDPs (p¿=¿0.005). In the upper arch SDA treatment was 100% successful compared to 86.4% for RDPs (p¿=¿0.019). In the lower arch, lower success rates were reported for both the SDA treatment (80.0%) and RDPs (60.0%) (p¿=¿0.054). Further analyses with cox's proportional hazard models demonstrated that SDA treatment was significantly more successful than RDPs (Hazard Ratio: 2.47, p¿=¿0.04).
After 36 months SDA treatment using RBB was significantly more successful than RDPs used for conventional full-arch rehabilitation in partially dentate older adults.
Functionally orientated treatment according to the principles of the SDA is a feasible alternative to RDPs for partially dentate older patients. SDA treatment using RBB can achieve higher success rates compared to RDPs in this patient group.