When teeth are extracted, sensory function is decreased by a loss of periodontal ligament receptions. When replacing teeth by oral implants, one hopes to restore the sensory feedback pathway as such to allow for physiological implant integration and optimized oral function with implant-supported prostheses. What remains to be investigated is how to adapt to different oral rehabilitations.
The purpose of this pilot study was to assess four aspects of masticatory adaptation after rehabilitation with an immediately loaded implant-supported prosthesis and to observe how each aspect will recover respectively.
Eight participants with complete dentures were enrolled. They received an implant-supported acrylic resin provisional bridge, 1 day after implant surgery. Masticatory adaptation was examined by assessing occlusal contact, approximate maximum bite force, masticatory efficiency of gum-like specimens, and food hardness perception.
Occlusal contact and approximate maximum bite force were significantly increased 3 months after implant rehabilitation, with the bite force gradually building up to a 72% increase compared to baseline. Masticatory efficiency increased by 46% immediately after surgery, stabilizing at around 40% 3 months after implant rehabilitation. Hardness perception also improved, with a reduction of the error rate by 16% over time.
This assessment demonstrated masticatory adaptation immediately after implant rehabilitation with improvements noted up to 3 months after surgery and rehabilitation. It was also observed that, despite gradually improved bite force in all patients, masticatory efficiency and food hardness perception did not necessarily follow this tendency. The findings in this pilot may also be used to assess adaptation of oral function after implant rehabilitation by studying the combined outcome of four tests (occlusal contact, maximum bite force, masticatory efficiency, and food hardness perception).
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- Short-term follow-up of masticatory adaptation after rehabilitation with an immediately loaded implant-supported prosthesis: a pilot assessment
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