Trial suggests that simplified technique for complete denture fabrication results in similar masticatory performance as traditional approaches


While oral health has improved complete edentulism is remains an important problem. While it is increasingly common for treatment approaches to use implant-retained prosthesis conventional complete dentures are still in widespread use.   Traditional denture construction protocols involve several clinical and laboratory stages and simplified approaches have been suggested.  The aim of this trial was to compare the masticatory performance and ability of a simplified technique for complete denture fabrication with a conventional technique.

Adults who had been completely edentulous for at least one year and required a new set of complete dentures were randomised to received complete dentures fabricated according to a simplified (Group S) or conventional method (Group C). The conventional method involved 6-visits the simplified method 4-visits.  Masticatory performance was assessed by a colorimetric method based on an artificial test food.  Masticatory ability was assessed using a five- question instrument and a visual analogue scale

  • 21 patients were allocated to each group, 39 participants were assessed for three months (20 from Group C and 19 from Group S).
  • There were no significant differences in masticatory performance or ability between groups C and S.
  • Masticatory performance was approximately 30% of that a comparator group of dentate patients.

The authors concluded.

 The simplified method for complete denture fabrication is able to restore masticatory function to a level comparable to a conventional protocol, both physiologically and according to patient’s perceptions.


Recently we noted a review by Carlsson et al ( Dental Elf 23rd Jan 2013) that suggested a single-stage impression technique may be suitable for denture construction for the majority of patients. This small study adds another small piece of evidence in relation to this.


Cunha TR, Della Vecchia MP, Regis RR, Ribeiro AB, Muglia VA, Mestriner W Jr, de Souza RF. A randomised trial on simplified and conventional methods for complete denture fabrication: Masticatory performance and ability. J Dent. 2013 Feb;41(2):133-42. doi: 10.1016/j.jdent.2012.09.008. Epub 2012 Sep 19. PubMed PMID: 23000525.

Dental Elf 23rd Jan 2012 – Limited evidence suggests that a one-step impression technique is sufficient for the majority of edentulous patients.

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Derek Richards

Derek Richards is a specialist in dental public health, Director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Dentistry and Specialist Advisor to the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP) Development Team. A former editor of the Evidence-Based Dentistry Journal and chief blogger for the Dental Elf website until December 2023. Derek has been involved with a wide range of evidence-based initiatives both nationally and internationally since 1994. Derek retired from the NHS in 2019 remaining as a part-time senior lecturer at Dundee Dental School until the end of 2023.

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