Objective: The aim of this study is to determine the changes in the oral health related quality of life in patients with temporomandibular joints disorders following arthrocentesis. The oral health related quality of life is assessed by the 14-item short form Oral Health Impact Profile (OHIP-14).
Study design: Eight patients scheduled to undergo arthrocentesis under local anaesthesia were included in the study. A pre-operative patient-completed questionnaires consisting of the OHIP-14 was given to participant. It consisted of seven domains: functional limitation, physical pain, psychological discomfort, physical disability, social disability, and handicap. Oral health related quality of life was demonstrated by the OHIP-14 summary score. Patients were given a second set of patient-completed questionnaires consisting OHIP-14 at two weeks post-arthrocentesis and third set of the patient-completed questionnaires at two months post-arthrocentesis.
Results: Results show that all 8 subjects felt that there was an improvement in their quality of life in terms of oral health, after undergoing arthrocentesis treatment, compared to pre- treatment levels: mean OHIP-14 baseline score = 28.2 (s.d. 13.1), mean OHIP-14 score at week 2 = 14.1 (s.d. 10.9), mean OHIP-14 score at 2 months = 9.0 (s.d. 8.7). There was statistically significant difference in the OHIP-14 total score over the time frame of 2 months ( p = 0.002).
Conclusion: The conclusion was that arthrocentesis, used in the management of patients suffering from temporomandibular joint disorders presenting with closed lock, significantly improved the oral health related quality of life in the first 8 subjects of this study.
Key words: temporomandibular joints; arthrocentesis; oral health related quality of life