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Evaluating Patient-Dentist Communication and Denture Hygiene in Edentulous Patients

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Evaluating Patient-Dentist Communication and Denture Hygiene in Edentulous Patients


More than 35 million Americans are presently edentulous. Of this population, 15% have dentures made each year [1]. It is well known that daily cleaning of dentures, especially proper removal of plaque, is vital for maintaining the health of the denture and underlying soft tissues [2]. Inadequate cleaning may lead to damage of the denture and adverse health conditions. Oral bacteria have been implicated in bacterial endocarditis, aspiration pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, infections of the respiratory tract and other pathogenic diseases [3].  Research is recommended to better elucidate if inadequate denture cleaning by patients is due to a patient-dentist communication disconnect between recommended practice and actual patient practice of cleaning dentures.


Studies show most denture patients clean their denture with brushing and water alone [4,5]. However, many research studies are available stating that utilizing brushing and an effervescent tablet provides the most recommended cleaning method overall [3,6]. Brushing is used to remove large food particles and most surface bacteria. Effervescent tablets remove smaller food particles and bacteria from areas not accessible by brushing alone [1]. Many research papers have been published stating most patients encountered difficulties receiving proper instruction from their dental professional. Additionally, most patients do not revisit their dental professional for regular hygiene check up; therefore, it is up to the dental professional to most effectively educate their denture patients regarding denture hygiene [4,7]. International papers suggest that dental professionals feel they need to be more educated about denture hygiene methods. [8]


The object of this study is to evaluate if any communication discrepancies exist between patients and dental professionals preventing optimal denture hygiene.


We conducted a search through four electronic databases date restricted from 2000 to January 2015 with keywords including “denture” OR “cleansing” OR “ tablet” OR “method”. Additionally, a survey was given to both denture patients and dental professionals who regularly provide care for denture patients: two different surveys were created to capture their own experiences from their perspectives.

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