Prosthetic rehabilitation of partially dentate or edentulous patients

This document was published more than 2 years ago. The nature of the evidence may have changed.


  • With tooth loss there is an associated deterioration in quality of life. Life becomes restricted – the existence of many people with tooth loss is characterized by loss of self-esteem, lower social status and deterioration in function.
  • Treatment of tooth loss is very important for those afflicted. In several ways, receiving treatment for tooth loss signifies a return to normal lifestyle and improved quality of life.
  • Patients with single tooth loss can be rehabilitated by tooth-supported bridges, resin-bonded bridges or implant-supported crowns. The five-year survival rate* for crowns and implants is over 90 percent.
  • For patients with more extensive tooth loss, rehabilitation can be achieved by bridgework supported by the natural teeth or implants, or alternatively with a removable partial denture. Around 95 percent of implant bridges can be expected to survive for 5–10 years.
  • Patients with edentulism, or maxillary or mandibular edentulism respectively, can be rehabilitated with complete dentures supported by the oral mucosa, or implant-supported constructions. Implant-retained bridge constructions have a five-year survival rate of over 90 percent. For mandibular overdentures,
    over 90 percent of constructions remain after five years.
  • There is an insufficient scientific basis on which to determine which of these treatment methods gives the best results in terms of aesthetics and function, or is the most cost-effective.
  • A survey of established practice by dentists shows that rehabilitation of patients who have lost teeth is today mainly in the form of fixed tooth- or implant-retained prostheses. It is estimated that for the year 2007, implants comprised around 18 percent of the support for fixed constructions.

* survival = the crown or bridge is retained in place and functional.

How to cite this report: SBU. Prosthetic rehabilitation of partially dentate or edentulous patients. Stockholm: Swedish Council on Health Technology Assessment (SBU); 2010. SBU report no 204 (in Swedish).

Download summary

SBU Assessment presents a comprehensive, systematic assessment of available scientific evidence. The certainty of the evidence for each finding is systematically reviewed and graded. Full assessments include economic, social, and ethical impact analyses.

SBU assessments are performed by a team of leading professional practitioners and academics, patient/user representatives and SBU staff. Prior to approval and publication, assessments are reviewed by independent experts, SBU’s Scientific Advisory Committees and Board of Directors.

Published: 8/13/2010
Contact SBU:
Report no: 204
Page published