Author(s): Davis DM, Fiske J, Scott B, Radford DR
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Abstract AIM: To establish how widespread the emotional effects of tooth loss are. METHOD: A questionnaire, distributed to 100 edentulous people undergoing routine prosthetic care in the Department of Prosthetic Dentistry at Guy's, King's and St Thomas' Dental Institute (GKT), was used to explore the emotional effects of tooth loss. RESULTS: Ninety four people completed the questionnaire of whom 42 stated that they had experienced difficulties in accepting the loss of their teeth. In comparison with people who had no difficulties in accepting the situation, these people were: more likely to feel less confident about themselves; more likely to feel inhibited in carrying out everyday activities; and less able to accept the inevitable change in facial shape which occurs following the loss of teeth. Additionally, they took longer to come to terms with their tooth loss (All these differences were statistically significant). Just over three-quarters of the people who were unprepared for the loss of their teeth, felt that an explanation from the dentist prior to dental extractions would have helped. CONCLUSION: The impact that tooth loss can have on people and their lives should not be underestimated. In this study it affected 45\% of the participants.
This article was published in Br Dent J
and referenced in Journal of Gerontology & Geriatric Research