Women who are postmenopausal with osteoporosis are at a greater risk of losing their teeth. Tooth loss can be both painful and embarrassing and have an impact on quality of life. A recent study conducted by researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine sought to find which treatment for tooth loss “provides women with the highest degree of satisfaction in their work and social lives.” The answer, according to Leena Palomo, associate professor of periodontics and corresponding author of “Dental Implant Supported Restorations Improve the Quality of Life in Osteoporotic Women” appears to be dental implants.

Participants and Results

Participants in the study were osteopathic women who had one or more adjacent teeth missing. The 237 participants were given a 23-question survey that reported women’s satisfaction with their replacement teeth and how they rated their satisfaction with aspects of their lives, including health, work, emotional, and sexual. Of the women surveyed, 64 had restorative work done including implants, 60 had a fixed partial denture, 47 had a removable denture (or false teeth), 66 had no restorative work done at all. Women who had dental implants reported an overall higher satisfaction with life. Women with fixed dentures scored the next highest, followed by those with false teeth. Women with no restorative work were last. Interestingly, women with fixed implants scored the highest in the emotional and sexual satisfaction areas while women with no restorative work done scored the lowest.

The Outcome

These finding suggest women with fixed dental implants have a higher satisfaction with life, which may lead to increased confidence and self-esteem. The researchers hope that their findings will help doctors make decisions as to what is best for patients.

You can read the findings in the Journal of International Dentistry.