Broken or missing teeth can decrease quality of life by interfering with a patient’s chewing ability and self-esteem. Full-arch rehabilitation is a popular procedure used to restore dental function and aesthetics.
Typically, current studies evaluate clinical parameters including implant survival rates, bone resorption, and tissue inflammation to assess treatment success. But growing research suggests that patient quality of life and satisfaction also are important outcomes.
Researchers at the University of Genoa and the University of Turin have developed questionnaires to assess patient-centered outcomes after full-arch rehabilitation with implants and prosthetics.
The researchers selected a group of 10 men and 15 women. Each patient was clinically evaluated and underwent tomography to determine implant placement. The Columbus Bridge Protocol was used for the full-arch rehabilitation and implant placement, followed by prosthetic placement 24 hours later.
The self-administered questionnaires, developed by using the Oral Health Impact Profile questionnaire as a guide, were answered four times (pre-surgery and one week, two months, and four months post-surgery) to evaluate patient satisfaction and quality of life.
At the end of the study, all implants were stable and functioning and did not need to be replaced. Most patients also reported a significant improvement in their quality of life. Specifically, smile confidence improved from 60% to 90%, and chewing ability increased similarly.
The researchers also noted that previous anecdotal studies showed a high degree of patient satisfaction with full-arch rehabilitation, but these studies only included questionnaires before and after surgery or only after surgery.
Additionally, the researchers included intermediate evaluations one week and two months after surgery and revealed that patients were unhappy with phonetics during the stages of healing. The researchers suggested that perhaps this is due to patients becoming acclimated to their new prosthetics.
Questionnaires such as the ones in this study are important tools that clinicians can use to augment their treatments for oral rehabilitation, the researchers said.
“The final goal of our clinical activity is the health and the well-being of our patients,” said corresponding author Elena Dellepaine of the Division of Implant and Prosthetic Dentistry, Department of Surgical Sciences, at the University of Genoa.
Therefore, simply using clinical parameters such as implant survival and retainment may miss important areas of the treatment that need improvement, the researchers said.
The study, “Oral Health-Related Quality of Life and Full-Arch Immediate Loading Rehabilitation: An Evaluation of Preoperative, Intermediate, and Posttreatment Assessments of Patients Using a Modification of the OHIP Questionnaire,” was published by the Journal of Oral Implantology.