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Volume 16 , Issue 5
September/October 2003

Pages 515–520

Sentiments Expressed in Relation to Tooth Loss: A Qualitative Study Among Edentulous Saudis

Ridwaan Omar, BSc, BDS, LDS, MSc, FRACDS, FDSRCSEda/Esam Tashkandi, BDS, MS, FDSRCSEd, PhD/Tariq Abduljabbar, BDS, MS, PhD/Mohamed Aleem Abdullah, BDS, MDS/Riyadh F. Akeel, BDS, MS, PhD

PMID: 14651237

Purpose: The objective was to explore and gain insight into the sentiments surrounding tooth loss in a group of edentulous Saudis. Materials and Methods: Using a qualitative methodology, 44 edentulous patients who were receiving complete denture treatment were interviewed in private, in the Arabic language. Interviews were tape recorded and semistructured, following a list of predetermined and piloted topics, but dialogue also took place, with the freedom for both interviewer and interviewee to explore areas of interest. All recordings were transcribed, translated into English, and interpreted independently by two members of the team to identify the core themes associated with tooth loss. Results: The mean age of participants was 58.9 years (range 35 to 72 years), and they had been edentulous for a mean of 7.1 years (range 3 months to 22 years). The main themes related to tooth loss were unqualified acceptance, inevitability with old age, behavior changes with respect to eating comfort, aged appearance, self-responsibility, positively perceived benefits, high prosthetic expectations and reduced level of denture satisfaction, and some need for privacy. Conclusion: The lack of any outward indication that participants experienced bereavement suggests that outlook on life can influence the impact of tooth loss. Participants’ unqualified acceptance of their edentulous fate, yet their clear need to “normalize” oral function, reflects a degree of pragmatism toward life events. The strong influence of religion in Saudi society is a possible factor in the sentiments expressed. Int J Prosthodont 2003;16:515–520.

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