Epilepsy is a chronic disease that can affect oral health and prosthodontic status in different ways. However, epilepsy is a condition of various etiologies and seizure types, and different patients may have differing needs in prosthodontic care. The purpose of this study was to examine the prosthodontic status of patients with epilepsy to determine if the disease has any effect on prosthodontic treatment and to obtain information regarding the level of prosthodontic care. This information was used to provide recommendations for the prosthodontic treatment of patients with epilepsy. One hundred one epileptic patients were examined, interviewed, and compared with 101 age-matched control (nonepileptic) subjects of the general population. Epileptic patients were recruited at an epilepsy outpatient clinic. The only exclusion criterion was a mental handicap severe enough to exclude cooperation of the patient during a dental examination. Control subjects were recruited at a community radiographic chest-screening clinic. Epileptic patients were first grouped according to dental risk factors and dental manageability. Dental classification of patients with epilepsy considered the frequency and type of seizures, as seizures may damage the teeth and dental prostheses. The number of missing teeth, the ratio of missing and replaced teeth, and the number of fixed and removable partial dentures and complete dentures, and the characteristics (material, degree of abrasion, and age) of the dentures was determined by dental examination. Finally, the state of oral mucosa and the number of seizure-related injuries was noted. Statistical comparison of the patient and the control group was performed, using the 2-tailed t-test for continuous variables and the chi-squared test or Fisher's exact test for categorical variables (α=.05). The number of missing teeth was significantly higher in the epilepsy group than in the control group (P=.021). The ratio of replaced and missing teeth was lower in the epileptic group (P<.01), indicating inadequate prosthodontic care. There was also a significant difference in the age of the fixed prostheses (P=.0016), being lower in the epilepsy group, and in the material of fixed prostheses (P=.033), metal-ceramic being more common in the control group. More epileptic patients were edentulous than control subjects (8 versus 3) and the average age at the time of examination was younger (48 versus 57 years). Seizure-related injuries were reported by 11% of patients, all belonging to the subgroup of patients with frequent generalized tonic-clonic seizures. Patients with epilepsy have an increased risk for loosing teeth and, furthermore, the prosthodontic status of epilepsy patients was not as optimal as compared with the control group. Seizure-related injuries to prostheses are also an issue, but only in those suffering from frequent generalized tonic-clonic seizures. Therefore, the large majority of patients can and should receive prosthodontic treatment without restrictions. For a smaller group of patients, however, certain restrictions apply, to prevent potentially dangerous seizure-related complications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Oral Surgery