3 – The Impact of Edentulism on Function and Quality of Life

CHAPTER 3

The Impact of Edentulism on Function and Quality of Life

Michael I. MacEntee

A recent analysis of info rmation collected by the author and his colleagues in Vancouver, British Columbia, revealed that older adults who believe that dentistry is usually painful, or who expect to lose all of their natural teeth, are about three times more likely to report 5 years later that they are dissatisfied with life. Although this does not prove a cause-effect relationship between poor dental beliefs or expectations and poor quality of life (QOL), it does suggest an association. Chapter I noted that the prevalence of edentulism dropped by approximately 10% for each decade of the past 30 years in the United States, yet, because of population growth, especially in older age groups, there will be an increase in the number edentulous patients who have no natural teeth in one or both arches. Hence, the need for dentures will not diminish over the next quarter century and those in most need of dentures are most likely to be among society’s poorest and least advantaged.

Chronic disability now is the major health care challenge of Western society. Consequently, with society’s prolonged life expectancy, there is growing interest in QOL and sensitivity to the “lived experiences” of chronic illness.1 The World Health Organization (WHO) expressed the importance of this sensitivity in 1948 by recognizing health as more than simply the absence of disease and noting that healthy societies have a complicated mixture of social, economic, and cultural characteristics. Edentulism is a prevalent disability with all the characteristics of a chronic illness. It is incurable and functionally and psychologically disruptive. It carries with it a social stigma, and it requires specific management strategies to overcome or limit its disruptive effects.2

Impact of Edentulism on Function

Jan 7, 2015 | Posted by in Implantology | Comments Off on 3 – The Impact of Edentulism on Function and Quality of Life
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