T.J. Ogunrinde and O.O. Dosumu

Department of Restorative Dentistry, University of Ibadan/University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the most frequent complete denture complaints and to investigate the influence of age, gender and systemic disease conditions
on the complaints.

Methodology: This was a retrospective study in which information on the demographic data, medical and dental history of complete denture patients were obtained from their case records. Also the type of complaints and adjustment made to the denture at review appointments were recorded. All data generated were entered into IBM-Compatible microcomputer and analysed using the statistical packages of social sciences (SPSS) version 15. Chi-square test was used to test for statistical significance.

Result: Eighty-two case records of complete denture patients were reviewed. Fourty-six of the patients were male while 36 were female. The age ranged between 40 and 90 years with mean age of 69.10 (SD=10.6) years. Fifty-one (62.2%) patients had complaints with their dentures during a week review appointment. Pain was the most common complaint 23 (28%), followed by lack of retention, 12 (14.6%). Eighteen (21.9%) patients had systemic medical conditions.

Conclusion: There was no statistically significant relationship between patient age, gender, systemic health and denture complaints; but statistically significant relationship exist between types of denture, denture faults and complaints.

Keywords: demographic factors, medical condition, complete dentures, complaints


Dr. T.J. Ogunrinde
Dept. of Restorative Dentistry,
University of Ibadan/
University College Hospital,
E mail:
Tel. No: 08033890679


The wearing of a new complete denture may be associated with some complaints especially shortly after the insertion of the denture. The complaints may be lack of retention and stability, pain or discomfort, accumulation of food under the denture, altered speech, difficulty in chewing, unsatisfactory appearance and wretching.1,2 Several studies2,3,4,5 had been conducted on patients’ complaints after delivery of complete dentures; however, there was no agreement on the most common complaint. Pain or discomfort was reported by some researchers3,4 as the most common complaint among new denture wearers while others stated that lack of retention and stability 5,6 were the most frequent complaints.

While some patients may accomodate dentures with obvious construction fault, others may come with complaints from dentures that appear satisfactory in the patients’ mouths. These conflicting observations suggest that there may exist some unidentified factors associated with patients complants.2,3 The factors that have been found to determine the prognosis of rehabilitation with complete dentures include: age, gender, previous denture experience, attitude of the patient to treatment, systemic health of the patient, period of edentulousness, skills and experience of the dentists.

It has been reported that with advancing age both men and women experience difficulty in learning to adapt to and manage removable prosthesis.7. This, coupled with unrealisable high expectation of some older age group has been reported as a major cause of complaints following denture insertion in the elderly.8

Fiske et al;8 stated that there is a social dimension to denture complaints especially the persistent ones in the elderly, as a visit to the dentist for adjustment provides these elderly patients opportunity to go out. Women of menopausal age have been reported to experience more difficulty in adapting to denture than younger age group because of the physical and emotional changes they undergo during and after menopause.9

Systemic medical conditions like diabetes mellitus and neuromuscular diseases may make successful wearing of complete dentures difficult.3,7 Problems with complete dentures may result from direct effect of these conditions or effect of the medications use in the treatment of the diseases on oral mucosal. Xerostomia for example has been reported to cause difficulty in wearing complete denture by making the denture bearing mucosal to become sore and ulcerated.10 In addition, denture retention may be affected by lack of saliva.11 Xerostomia in diabetes mellitus is thought to be caused by the polyurea of the disease while drugs like diuretics used in treatment of hypertension are possible causes of xerostomia.12

The purpose of this study was to determine the most frequent complaints following delivery of complete dentures and to investigate the influence of age, gender and systemic disease conditions on patients’ complaints during the early post delivery period among patients seen in a Nigerian teaching hospital