[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this survey was to determine how a sample of dentists working in general dental practice in the UK sought to restore the mouths of patients who had shortened dental arches (SDAs).
A survey was conducted over a period of six months on four commercial dental laboratories. Cases of SDAs comprising the anterior teeth and 2 to 4 premolars were examined; dental prescriptions were scrutinized and a special data collection form was completed accordingly.
A total of 140 SDA cases were examined. Most of these cases were for mandibular SDAs (88.6%). Of the recorded SDA cases, 67.2% were restored by cobalt-chromium based removable partial dentures (RPD); 25.7% were extended by acrylic-resin based RPDs; implants were provided to restore 8 SDA cases (5.7%); and only two SDA cases (1.4%) were extended by cantilevered fixed bridges. Neither the gender of the patient ([Chi (2)= 4.19, p>0.05) nor the length of the SDA ([Chi (2) = 6.51, p>0.05) influenced the choice of prosthesis to be implemented.
It would appear from the results of this survey that among the different restorative treatment options for SDA, the RPD was the most popular treatment option for dentists surveyed in this UK study. Extending the SDA by either an implant-supported prosthesis or cantilevered fixed bridges did not appear to be a popular choice of treatment.