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Keywords:

  • current perception threshold;
  • denture wearing;
  • greater palatine nerve;
  • sensory nerve

Background

The standard textbook on complete dentures suggests the necessity of relief for the incisive and posterior palatine foramina of denture wearers to prevent the impingement of the nerves and vessels passing through these foramina. However, concrete evidence of the effect of dentures on the sensory function of the nerves underlying dentures is lacking.

Objective

The study aim was to investigate the influence of denture-induced compression on sensory nerve responses to stimulations.

Materials and methods

Only partially edentulous patients of maxillary Kennedy class II who wear dentures (WD) or who never wear dentures (ND) were recruited as participants. The WD and ND groups had 15 participants with a mean age of 66.9 years and 22 participants with a mean age of 60.2 years, respectively. Current perception thresholds (CPTs) at 2000, 250 and 5 Hz, corresponding to A-beta, A-delta and C fibres, respectively, were measured by the Neurometer® NS3000 device and compared between groups. The data were analysed by the t-test, the paired t-test and analysis of covariance adjusted for age, sex and thickness of the mucosa.

Results

The CPTs showed large differences at 2000 Hz but no differences at the other frequencies when the WD and ND groups were compared. Only the CPT of the edentulous side at 2000 Hz was significantly different between groups.

Conclusion

Wearing removable partial dentures contributes to changes of responses to stimulations in the large fibre of the sensory nerve underlying the maxillary alveolar ridge.