Study into quality of life for implant patients

Researchers hope Manchester trial will inform a much larger trial across the UK in the future

A trial into the quality of life among patients with dental implants is being managed by Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC).

The trial, which is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research for Patient Benefit Programme, is the first of its kind to provide cost-benefit analysis and undertake a robust assessment of the impact of mini implants on people’s quality of life, compared with dentures secured by conventional implants.

The research is being led by MAHSC partners The University of Manchester and Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT) and managed by the MAHSC Clinical Trials Coordination Unit, based at the Christie NHS Foundation Trust.

Professor Martin Tickle, senior research professor in the School of Dentistry at the University ofManchester, who leads on population health for MAHSC, said: “This pilot trial is one step towards MAHSC’s aim of improving quality of life and it is of particular importance for an ageing population.

“We hope the results of this study will inform a much larger trial that we hope to rollout across the UK.”

The trial has recently started and, so far, 16 patients have been recruited. Overall, 44 participants will be selected to take part, 22 of which will receive conventional implants, while the others will be provided with mini implants.Over the course of six months, the researchers will follow up with the patients to collect information on their experiences, including the level of pain they have encountered, their ability to chew, and the overall impact of treatment on their quality of life.

Dr Craig Barclay, consultant at the University Dental Hospital of Manchester, part of CMFT, and honorary senior lecturer in restorative dentistry at the University of Manchester, said: “When dentists try to help people whose lives are severely affected by denture problems, it is of critical importance that they know which product is most effective and best suited to the individual patient before treatment goes ahead.

“We hope that the study will improve quality of life for patients with dentures, by enabling clinicians to provide the most appropriate treatment.”