A new study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association looks in detail at the factors that go into making people satisfied with their dentures. Some of it is obvious, and some of it surprising.
An In-Depth Analysis of Denture Performance
The study looked at 33 randomly selected people with full dentures. In order to determine the most important factors in denture satisfaction, both dentures and denture wearers were examined separately. Dentures were evaluated by three investigators who received training on properly scoring dentures. Dentures were rated on seven different clinical criteria.
Denture wearers were given a denture satisfaction survey. Overall, patients rated their satisfaction on average as 3.6 out of 5, ranked between “reasonably” and “very” satisfied.
The results were correlated to determine which factors had the biggest impact on satisfaction.
Lower Denture Stability Mattered Most
The strongest correlations with denture satisfaction related to the lower (mandibular) denture. Mandibular denture stability and retention had the biggest impact on satisfaction.
Many aesthetic factors had little correlation overall, including upper lip support and lower lip line. Stability and retention of the upper (maxillary) denture also seemed to have little impact on satisfaction. Overall, people reported more satisfaction with the performance of their maxillary denture.
The author noted that “the results showed a statistically significant relationship between denture quality and denture satisfaction.”
Your Dentist Matters, Too
In addition to the technical aspects of denture fit, researchers discovered that the relationship between a patient and a dentist could also have a significant impact on satisfaction with dentures. The author wrote, “study findings indicate that a positive clinician-patient relationship could be more important in attaining patient satisfaction than is providing the patient with dentures that meet the technical prosthodontics requirements.” Setting proper expectations is very important, according to the study.