Clinical Oral Investigations

, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 2309–2317 | Cite as

Adaptation to new complete dentures—is the neuromuscular system outcome-oriented or effort-oriented?

  • Lydia Eberhard
  • Keunyoung Oh
  • Constantin Eiffler
  • Peter Rammelsberg
  • Stefanie Kappel
  • Hans-Jürgen Schindler
  • Nikolaos Nikitas Giannakopoulos
Original Article



The aim of this study was to observe the adaptation strategy of the stomatognathic system during the adaptation of complete dentures, comprising masticatory parameters and subjective measures. Our hypothesis was that with new dentures, masticatory performance would increase while the effort of the system is kept constant.

Material and methods

Thirty-two patients received standardized new complete dentures. Masticatory performance tests were conducted with old dentures (T1), immediately after incorporation of new dentures (T2) and after an adaptation period of 3 months (T3). Patients habitually chewed the silicone-based artificial test food Optocal. The comminuted test food was analyzed and mean particle sizes (x50) were calculated. Simultaneously, surface EMGs of the anterior temporalis and masseter muscles were recorded. Specific (SMW) and total muscle work (TMW) were determined. Patients filled in the OHIP-49 questionnaire. Test conditions were compared using repeated-measures ANOVA with SPSS 22 (SPSS Inc.)


Masticatory performance increased (P = 0.016) between old (x50 = 4.99 ± 0.28) and adapted new dentures (x50 = 4.80 ± 0.33). TMW deteriorated (P = 0.004) at T2 (from TMW1 = 119.77 ± 56.49 to TMW2 = 92.12 46.27), and increased again (P = 0.028) at T3 (TMW3 = 107.66 ± 44.65). OHIP scores decreased significantly in all subscales (P < 0.001…P = 0.046); the total score was reduced (P < 0.001) from 56.24 ± 29.05 (T1) to 34.66 ± 24.74 (T3).


In complete denture wearers, masticatory performance improves over an adaptation period. Muscle work initially decreased before reaching its original level again after adaptation. Subjective parameters overestimated the functional improvements.

Clinical significance

The subjective evaluation does not adequately reflect functional improvements. The assessment of function requires an adaptation period.


Complete denture Adaptation Masticatory performance EMG Masseter OHIP 



The work was supported by the company BEGO Implant Systems GmbH & Co. KG, Bremen, Germany.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The study was approved by the ethics committee of the Medical Faculty of the University of Heidelberg (S-208/2010).

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ProsthodonticsUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany
  2. 2.Department of ProsthodonticsUniversity of WürzburgWürzburgGermany

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