Quality of life and masticatory function in denture wearers

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Successful prosthodontic treatments for a patient with removable partial dentures including maxillofacial prostheses hopefully brings about psychological wellbeing as well as improved health. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between quality of life (QOL) and the various aspects of denture function. At first, a questionnaire with a visual analog scale with 16 question items concerning denture and/or eating problems, the present state of health, psychological and physical wellbeing, life satisfaction, and QOL was developed. To discuss the validity and reliability of the questionnaire, 48 outpatients who wore a denture were asked to fill it out. Next, to discuss the difference in QOL of the patient with various kinds of dentures and conditions, 103 outpatients were asked to complete the newly developed questionnaire. The questionnaire which contained four factor areas with eight questions for denture patients was developed by factor analysis with Varimax rotation. The reliability of the QOL scale was confirmed by reliability analysis (Cronbach's α=0·784). The QOL score of edentulous patients with a complete denture having some trouble chewing was significantly lower than that of other denture patients. It was suggested that the wearing of a denture significantly affected the QOL of elderly persons.

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