Purpose: To investigate the effect of missing teeth on patients’ oral health–related quality of life (OHRQoL).
Materials and Methods: A total of 151 patients participated in this prospective bicenter clinical study (mean age: 64.7 ± 10.5 years; 71 women). Four subgroups were defined based on the number of missing teeth. OHRQoL was assessed using the German version of the Oral Health Impact Profile-49/53 (OHIP-G49/53) and visual analog scale (VAS) questionnaires. The effect of missing teeth on OHIP (total and dimension scores) and VAS scores before and after prosthetic treatment was investigated at baseline (T0), 1 week (T1), and 3 months (T2) after prosthetic treatment. Scores were analyzed using Kolmogorov-Smirnov, Kruskal-Wallis, and Mann- Whitney U tests. Correlations were assessed using Spearman ρ correlation. The level of significance was set at P = .05.
Results: Initial OHIP and VAS scores were highest for patients with 11 to 28 missing teeth. Scores improved among all groups between T0 and T1/T2. After prosthetic rehabilitation (T1), improvements in total OHIP scores were greatest for patients with no missing teeth or with 11 to 28 missing teeth. Patients with no missing teeth or with 1 to 4 missing teeth before treatment had the lowest posttreatment OHIP scores. Total OHIP scores among the groups were in the same value range (P > .185). No direct correlation was found between the VAS and total OHIP scores.
Conclusion: OHIP and VAS scores for OHRQoL were associated with the number of missing teeth. Prosthetic treatment resulted in improved OHRQoL and oral function among all groups. The use of a VAS yielded additional detailed information.