QUALITY OF LIFE IN PATIENTS WITH OBTURATOR PROSTHESES
AbstractBackground: Oral cancer has a profound impact on the quality of life for patients and their families.Functionally, the mouth is an important organ for speech, swallowing, chewing, taste and salivation.These functions become compromised due to surgical ablation of the tumour. Obturator prosthesis is acommon prosthdontic rehabilitative option for maxillectomy patients. The purpose of this study was toinvestigate how patients with maxillofacial defects evaluate their quality of life after maxillectomy andprosthodontic therapy with obturator prostheses. Methods: Thirty patients were included in the study(11 female, 19 male). The patients were interviewed by using a standardised questionnaire developedby University of Washington (UW-QOL). The detailed questionnaire was adjusted for obturatorpatients and internalised most parts of obturator functioning scale (OFS). Results: Quality of life afterprosthodontic therapy with obturator prostheses was 54±22.9% on average. Functioning of theobturator prosthesis, impairment of ingestion, speech and appearance, the extent of therapy, and theexistence of pain had significant impact on the quality of life (p<0.005). Conclusion: Orofacialrehabilitation of patients with maxillofacial defects using obturator prostheses is an appropriatetreatment modality. To improve the situation of patients prior to and after maxillectomy sufficientinformation about the treatment, adequate psychological care and speech therapy should be provided.Keywords: quality of life, maxillectomy, obturator prosthesis, oral cancer, prosthodontic therapy
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