We know that conventional dentures have problems. And we believe that implant dentures overcome many of these problems. They provide improved stability of dentures, better chewing force, better clarity of speech, and may even be more attractive.
But now a new study confirms that these functional improvements result in an increased quality of life for patients using them. And because it’s a long-term study, the results are very robust over the lifetime of use for implant dentures.
Improvement in Almost Every Way
This study was conducted on a relatively small number of patients (80 total), divided evenly between conventional dentures and bar-retained implant dentures. The patients were followed for over 23 years, and both groups had, essentially, the same mean follow-up.
Patients’ quality of life was evaluated using the Oral Health Impact Profile (OHIP), which is flawed (see below), but currently represents the best way to gauge a person’s quality of life related to their dental health.
Essentially, the OHIP asks people how much they’re bothered by their oral health in different situations and from different perspectives. It asks about different potential categories, such as:
- Functional limitations
- Physical pain
- Psychological discomfort
- Physical disability
- Psychological disability
- Social disability
It can be hard to precisely distinguish the difference in some of these categories without looking at the individual questions, but they are, actually distinct. The results from the survey showed that people with implant dentures were less bothered by their dentures in almost every category. The only place where the difference between groups wasn’t statistically significant was social disability. Otherwise, implant-retained dentures were significantly better in every category. Overall, their dentures caused 43% less disturbance to their normal life.
We Need a Better Measure
The only real limitation of this study comes from the OHIP itself. Although this tool is commonly used to help resolve these kinds of questions, it has a serious limitation. It only asks about how often people experience disruption from oral health. It doesn’t ask about more positive benefits of good oral health. This means that it may miss some of the additional benefits provided by implant dentures.
You Can Improve Your Quality of Life
This is not the first time we’ve seen the quality of life benefits that come from implant dentures. Another study looking at osteoporotic women came to a similar conclusion: dental implants significantly improve your quality of life.
If you are tired of living a life limited by dentures, now’s the time to see what quality dentures can do for you. Not only will they improve the function of your dentures, they’ll help you enjoy a fuller, richer life.
To learn more about the benefits of implant dentures, please contact a local FOY ® Dentures dentist today.