Edentulism and Comorbid Factors
Author: Felton, David A.
Source: Journal of Prosthodontics, Volume 18, Number 2, February 2009 , pp. 88-96(9)
Introduction: Complete edentulism is the terminal outcome of a multifactorial process involving biological factors and patient-related factors. It continues to represent a tremendous global health care burden, and will for the foreseeable future. The purpose of this review is to determine what comorbid factors exist for the completely edentulous patient.
Methods: This literature review evaluated articles obtained via the National Library of Medicine's PubMed Website, using keywords of edentulism with various combinations of the terms comorbidity, incidence, health, nutrition, cancer, cardiovascular health, diabetes, osteoporosis, smoking, asthma, dementia, and rheumatoid arthritis. Abstracts were selected and screened, and selected full-text articles were reviewed. Articles were limited to those with adequate patient cohorts and a minimum of 2-year follow-up data.
Results: Edentulism was found to be a global issue, with estimates for an increasing demand for complete denture prostheses in the future. Completely edentulous patients were found to be at higher risk for poor nutrition, coronary artery plaque formation (odds ratio 2.32), to be smokers (odds ratio 2.42), to be asthmatic and edentulous in the maxillary arch (odds ratio 10.52), to being diabetic (odds ratio 1.82), to having rheumatoid arthritis (odds ratio 2.27), and to having certain cancers (odds ratios varying from 1.54 to 2.85, depending on the type of cancer). Chronic residual ridge resorption continues to be the primary intraoral complication of edentulation, and there appear to be few opportunities to reduce bone loss in the edentulous patient.
Conclusions: While the completely edentulous patient seems to be at risk for multiple systemic disorders, whether development of these disorders is causal or casual has not been determined. To minimize the loss of residual alveolar ridges, exemplary complete denture therapy, along with the establishment of routine recall systems, should be the ultimate goal of treatment of this patient cohort.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Professor, Department of Prosthodontics, University of North Carolina School of Dentistry, Chapel Hill, NC
Publication date: February 1, 2009