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Volume 14 , Issue 5
September/October 2001

Pages 461-465

A Transcultural Perspective on the Emotional Effect of Tooth Loss in Complete Denture Wearers

Brendan J. J. Scott, BSc, BDS, PhD, FDSRCS, Katherine C. M. Leung, BDS, MDS, FRACDS, Anne S. McMillan, BDS, PhD, FDSRCPS, FDSRCS, FHKAM, David M. Davis, LDS, BDS, PhD, FDSRCS, Janice Fiske, BDS, MPhil, FDSRCS

PMID: 12066643

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare the emotional effects of tooth loss in three edentulous populations. Materials and Methods: A questionnaire study involved 142 edentulous subjects undergoing routine prosthodontic care at Guy’s, King’s and St Thomas’s Dental Institute, London; the Dental School, Dundee, Scotland; and the Faculty of Dentistry, University of Hong Kong. Data were analyzed using the chi-squared test. Results: Difficulty in accepting tooth loss was a relatively common experience (44%) in all groups, with almost half feeling that their confidence had been affected. The majority (66%) felt that their choice of food was restricted and that the overall eating experience was less enjoyable, particularly the Hong Kong group. A significant proportion of the participants were concerned about their appearance without dentures, although the trend was less marked in Hong Kong. Forty-three percent felt that they were not adequately prepared for tooth loss, although the Hong Kong group was least concerned. Conclusion: In general, the emotional effect of tooth loss was significant in all groups. The restrictions on daily activities were generally greater in the Hong Kong group. However, this group was much less inhibited by denture wearing. The differences observed in the Hong Kong Chinese are most likely due to different cultural values and expectations associated with these aspects of daily living.

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