Article

A structural equation model to investigate the impact of missing occlusal units on objective masticatory function in patients with shortened dental arches.

Section of Removable Partial Denture Prosthodontics, Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, Japan.
Journal of Oral Rehabilitation (Impact Factor: 1.93). 05/2011; 38(11):810-7. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2842.2011.02225.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of missing occlusal units (MOUs) on objective masticatory function with respect to food comminuting and mixing ability. Sixty partially dentate patients (mean age, 64·1 years) with shortened dental arches participated in the study. Food comminuting ability was assessed using a masticatory performance test with peanuts as a test food. Food mixing ability was assessed using a mixing ability test with a two-coloured wax cube. Maximum bite force (MBF) was measured using a pressure-sensitive film as a mediator for food comminuting and mixing ability. A structural equation model was constructed based on a hypothesis that MOUs would be associated with reduced MBF and impairment of food comminuting and mixing ability. Structural equation modelling analysis found significant direct effects of MOU on median particle size and mixing ability index (MAI) (P < 0·001). In addition, MOU had significant indirect effects on median particle size and MAI with MBF as a mediator (P < 0·05). These results suggest that decrease in occlusal platform area and reduced MBF because of MOUs are associated with the impairment of food comminution and mixing in patients with shortened dental arches.

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