Effects of mandibular fixed implant-supported prostheses on masticatory and swallowing functions in completely edentulous elderly individuals
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Purpose: To evaluate the effect of oral rehabilitation with immediately loaded fixed implant-supported mandibular prostheses on chewing and swallowing in elderly individuals. Materials and Methods: Fifteen completely edentulous patients aged more than 60 years (10 women and rive men), wearing removable dentures in both arches, had a mandibular denture replaced by an implant-supported prosthesis. All individuals were evaluated before surgery and again 3, 6, and 18 months later with regard to mastication and swallowing conditions. Examinations entailed an interview, evaluation of tactile sensitivity of the face, and observation of food intake, masticatory type, formations of bolus, and pain during mastication. The swallowing evaluation comprised observation of clinical signs related to the oral and pharyngeal stages of swallowing, as well as the presence of oral residue. The findings of different evaluations before and 3, 6, and 18 months after the surgical-prosthetic procedure were statistically compared by analysis of variance for repeated measurements at a significance level of 5%. Results: The questionnaire revealed a reduction in complaints of masticatory and swallowing disturbances, a decreased need for liquid ingestion, and reduced choking and coughing. Clinical evaluations showed improved oral function and bolus propulsion for both solid and paste-consistency foods; pain during mastication was also resolved. Conclusion: Treatment with mandibular implant-supported dentures had positive effects on the clinical aspects of mastication and swallowing in elderly individuals.
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