STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The COVID-19 pandemic impacted every area of our lives, including delaying urgent dental care. However, studies evaluating how patients using dental prostheses have been affected by the pandemic are lacking.
The purpose of this study was to investigate how patients using different types of dental prostheses were being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
A total of 129 randomly selected individuals from among those who had been examined in the same clinic before the COVID-19 outbreak were included in the study. The study participants were divided into 4 groups according to their type of prosthesis: complete dentures, implant-retained removable dentures, tooth-supported fixed partial dentures, and implant-supported fixed partial dentures. The Oral Health Impact Profile (OHIP-14) questionnaire was implemented by telephone interviews with the study participants, who were also asked about their concerns and steps made regarding prosthetic hygiene during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data were evaluated by the Kruskal-Wallis and post hoc Dunn tests, and multivariate logistic regression analysis with forward selection was carried out to identify predictors of the oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) status (α=.05).
OHIP-14 total scores did not vary significantly among the groups (P>.05). When the domain scores of OHIP-14 were considered separately, the analysis revealed that the implant-retained removable denture group had significantly poorer functional limitations when compared with the tooth-supported fixed partial denture (P=.005) and implant-supported fixed partial denture (P=.031) groups. The results of the multivariate logistic regression analysis indicated a statistically significant association between OHRQoL during the COVID-19 pandemic and the frequency of tooth or denture cleaning (1 time a day versus less than 1 time a day: P=.011; 2-3 times a day versus less than 1 time a day: P=.032).
All prosthesis users exhibited increased interest in dental hygiene and an increase in the frequency of prosthesis cleaning during the pandemic. Furthermore, the study determined that the frequency of tooth or denture cleaning was associated with significantly improved OHRQoL during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the denture groups, those treated with implant-retained removable dentures had the poorest functional limitation in terms of OHRQoL, which can be linked to postponement of routine maintenance appointments. Therefore, providing all patients with scientifically sound information on prosthetic care during a pandemic would be highly beneficial.