By applying a utility (usefulness) scale termed the Feeling Thermometer to 111 edentulous patients, a measure of effectiveness (quality-adjusted prosthesis years) that can be compared across several treatment strategies was developed. The results suggest that the utility scale was a valid (known group, P < .05), reliable (intraclass correlation coefficient = .713) measure of patients' preferences for the three treatment strategies: (1) conventional complete dentures (controls, n = 77), (2) transosteal implant-supported prostheses (n = 19), and (3) endosseous implant-supported prostheses (n = 15). The implant-treated patients rated their prostheses as high or higher (Feeling Thermometer score of 86.3 [endosseous] and 82.3 [transosteal]) than a functional fitting, esthetic conventional denture (score of 85.0 [endosseous] and 82.0 [transosteal]). They were also younger, more educated, and had received more sets of dentures (P < .05) than conventional denture patients.
Keywords: dental implant, edentulism, patient preferences, treatment decisions, utility analysis