Biting and Chewing in Overdentures, Full Dentures, and Natural Dentitions

Fontijn-Tekamp, F. A.; Slagter, A. P.; Van Der Bilt, A.; Van 'T Hof, M. A.; Witter, D. J.; Kalk, W.; Jansen, J. A.
July 2000
Journal of Dental Research;Jul2000, Vol. 79 Issue 7, p1519
Academic Journal
It has been suggested that the provision of dental implants can improve the oral function of subjects with severely resorbed mandibles, possibly restoring function to the level experienced by satisfied wearers of conventional complete dentures. Nevertheless, a quantitative comparison has never been made and can be drawn from the literature only with difficulty, since studies differ greatly in methodology. To make such a comparison, we measured bite force and chewing efficiency by using identical methods in subjects with overdentures, complete full dentures, and natural dentitions. Our results indicated that bite forces achieved with overdentures on dental implants were between those achieved with artificial and natural dentitions. Chewing efficiency was significantly greater than that of subjects with full dentures (low mandible), but was still lower than that of subjects with full dentures (high mandible) and overdentures on bare roots. Differences in the height of the mandible revealed significant differences in chewing efficiency between the two full-denture groups. Furthermore, subjects with a shortened dental arch exerted bite forces similar to those of subjects with a complete-natural dentition, but their chewing efficiency was limited due to the reduced occlusal area. For all groups combined, a significant correlation was found between maximum bite force and chewing efficiency. Nearly half of the variation in chewing efficiency was explained by bite force alone.


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