Quality of Life of Endodontically Treated versus Implant Treated Patients: A University-based Qualitative Research Study

Department of Endodontics, University of Washington School of Dentistry, Seattle, WA 98195-7448, USA.
Journal of endodontics (Impact Factor: 3.38). 07/2011; 37(7):903-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.joen.2011.03.026
Source: PubMed


Up-to-date studies comparing endodontic treatment versus implant-supported prosthesis have shown similar clinical outcome and survival rates. However, no data are available comparing both treatment modalities based on the patient's perception of quality of life. This study was designed to qualitatively describe and compare the quality of life of patients with restored, single endodontically treated teeth versus patients with single implant-supported fixed prostheses.
Forty-eight patients agreed to participate in the study (n = 24 from each treatment modality). Of those, 37 actually participated in the study: 17 were endodontically treated and 20 had an implant-supported prosthesis. Patients in each of the two groups were randomly selected from the Graduate Endodontics and Graduate Periodontics Departments, respectively. Six focus group discussions (n = 3 per treatment group) were held and audio-recorded for subsequent thematic analysis. Data were analyzed to identify common themes within each category and compared to assess any differences in quality of life between the two treatments. Additionally, a quality of life survey, the shortened version of the Oral Health Impact Profile (OHIP-14), was given before the discussion group and the responses analyzed.
The results obtained from this study show similar overall OHIP scores and show a high rate of satisfaction with both treatment modalities. Content analysis of the discussion groups revealed several themes and subthemes. The major themes were importance of overall health, financial implications of the treatments, perception of the treatments and its outcomes, time since treatment, and follow-up dental visits.
The results help identify patients' perception and concerns with each treatment modality and assist the clinician and patient in the selection of an optimal treatment for their given situation. In addition to the prognosis and outcomes, clinicians should consider patients' perceptions and preferences as well as the influence each therapy may have on their quality of life, both short- and long-term. Overall, all the participants in this study were pleased with the treatment received and expressed a clear message to save their natural dentition whenever possible.

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