Purpose: This study involved an extensive search for randomized controlled clinical trials comparing bilateral balanced and canine-guided dentures, and questioned whether a bilateral balanced occlusion is imperative for successful denture treatment.
Materials and Methods: Studies were identified by searching electronic databases (PubMed/MEDLINE, ISI Web of Science, LILACS, and BBD). The keywords “denture” and “occlusion” were used. The minimum inclusion requirements were (1) randomized controlled trials with patients of any age wearing both maxillary and mandibular conventional complete dentures (CDs), (2) comparison between bilateral balanced and canine-guided dentures, and (3) assessment of masticatory function and/or patients’ satisfaction.
Results: The search resulted in the identification of 5166 articles. Subsequently, 5156 articles were excluded on the basis of title and abstract. By the end of the search phase, seven randomized controlled trials were considered eligible.
Conclusions: Current scientific evidence suggests that bilateral balanced occlusion is not imperative for successful treatment with conventional CDs in average patients. More studies are necessary to identify if specific clinical conditions may benefit from a balanced occlusion.