20:00 Greece Time
Chewing function is an important aspect of oral health and prosthodontic treatment procedures should aim to restore or maintain adequate function. Chewing problems associated with prosthodontic rehabilitation of teeth are either due to poor retention of the prosthesis or impaired sensorimotor regulation. While the current treatment procedures with dental implant have obviously improved the prosthesis retention; impaired sensorimotor regulation persists. The functional and fundamental aspect of various oral prosthetic rehabilitation procedures depends on how the brain utilizes the sensory signals from receptors to regulate oral motor behaviors. It is hypothesized that early after the tooth-food contact, somatosensory information about the spatial distribution of food particles, as well as their intrinsic properties, is collected, processed and used by the brain to control the subsequent jaw muscle activities. Lack of adequate somatosensory information would result in an altered motor behavior and an impaired motor performance.
It has been suggested that edentulous patients despite wearing well-made dental prosthesis have difficulties in chewing hard and tough food. Behavioral studies on comparison of patients with dental implants with natural dentate people clearly demonstrate that feedback provided by the PMRs seems critical during the initial tooth-food contact. Lost signaling from PMRs affects the sensorimotor regulation and reduced adaptation of jaw muscle activity. Dental prosthesis patients also show impaired force control, leading to inadequate control of food morsel during biting and chewing.
Thus, replacement of lost teeth by traditional prosthodontic means cannot fully compensate for impaired masticatory function. In the current presentation, I will present our recent findings based on behavioral studies showing how people with dental implants differ from natural dentate participants and discuss probable solutions to optimize masticatory performance in these individuals.