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Volume 25 , Issue 5
September/October 2012

Pages 472-479

Influence of Length of Occlusal Support on Masticatory Function of Free-End Removable Partial Dentures

Alfonso Sánchez-Ayala, MS/Glaucia Maria Bovi Ambrosano, PhD/Renata Cunha Matheus Rodrigues Garcia, PhD

PMID: 22930769

Purpose: The aim of this study was to determine the influence of occlusal support length (OSL) of free-end removable partial dentures (RPDs) on masticatory function. Materials and Methods: Twenty-three subjects (mean age: 55.2 ± 8.4 years) who were edentulous in the maxilla and classified as Kennedy Class I in the mandible were selected. Subjects received new maxillary complete dentures and mandibular RPDs. Five OSL conditions were determined by RPD artificial tooth wear: full occlusal support (L1, control), OSL to first molar (L2), OSL to second premolar (L3), OSL to first premolar (L4), and absence of occlusal support (L5). Masticatory performance and efficiency were evaluated using the sieve method. Chewing rate was defined as the number of masticatory cycles per minute. Bolus selection opportunities and bolus breakage function were evaluated using the one-chew method. Qualitative and quantitative measurements of masticatory cycle patterns were recorded kinesiographically. Data were analyzed using repeated-measures analysis of variance and Friedman and Fisher exact tests (α = .05). Results: Masticatory performance and efficiency decreased (P < .05) from L1 (5.46 ± 0.64 mm and 51.21% ± 19.44%, respectively) to L5 (6.24 ± 0.44 mm and 24.50% ± 15.98%, respectively). Chewing rate was higher for L4 than L1 (P < .05). Bolus selection chances and bolus breakage function decreased as OSL was reduced (P < .05); however, there were no differences in masticatory cycle pattern among the OSL conditions (P > .05). Conclusion: Reduction of OSL altered masticatory function, thereby decreasing masticatory performance and efficiency resulting from a lower capacity to select and break down food. Int J Prosthodont 2012;25:472–479.

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