Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry
Clinical Research| Volume 129, ISSUE 1, P234-238, January 2023

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Use of an occlusal ramp for rehabilitation after a mandibulectomy and its effects on mastication


      Statement of problem

      Patients with a mandibular defect can develop mandibular deviation, resulting in a loss of or reduction in occlusal contact and ultimately loss of function. The occlusal ramp is a prosthesis used to help restore the masticatory function of such patients and is used particularly in the maxillofacial rehabilitation of patients with masticatory dysfunction resulting from mandibular deviation. The occlusal ramp is usually attached to a mandibular denture or worn as an independent device placed on the palate corresponding to the mandible that produces the offset. However, evidence of the effects of its use is sparse.


      The purpose of this clinical study was to investigate the effects of occlusal ramp use in functional rehabilitation.

      Materials and methods

      This study included 10 patients who had received mandibulectomies (5 men and 5 women; mean age 76.7 years, range 67 to 90 years) with deviation of the mandible. An occlusal ramp was fabricated for each participant as part of their maxillofacial prosthetic treatment. Masticatory performance was evaluated before and after the treatment by measuring glucose extraction while masticating a piece of gummy jelly. The Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used for statistical analysis (α=.05).


      The median masticatory performance score, represented as glucose concentration (mg/dL), was 82.45 before treatment and 115.45 after treatment, with an overall improvement of 33.00. Scores differed significantly before and after treatment (P=.005). Masticatory performance for each participant improved in the range of 17.7 to 103.3, highlighting the role that the occlusal ramp played in mastication, although with differing effects in each participant.


      Masticatory performance in participants with mandibular deviation after a mandibulectomy was significantly improved with an occlusal ramp. This suggests the effectiveness of using occlusal ramps in maxillofacial prosthetic treatment for the recovery of masticatory function in patients with mandibular deviation.
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