Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry

Palatal coverage and oral stereognosis: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Published:November 03, 2022DOI:


      Statement of problem

      Complete denture wearers present with less sensory function than dentate individuals because of the loss of periodontal receptors. However, the role of the palatal receptors on such function is still unclear.


      The purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to evaluate the influence of palatal coverage associated with complete dentures or palatal devices on oral stereognosis in edentulous or dentate adults.

      Material and methods

      Eight major literature databases and the nonpeer-reviewed literature were searched up to December of 2021. Randomized clinical trials and nonrandomized clinical trials comparing oral stereognosis in edentulous or dentate participants using conventional complete dentures or implant-supported prostheses or those using palatal devices were included. Bias was assessed with Cochrane tools (ROBINS-I and RoB 2.0). Meta-analyses were conducted to compare oral stereognosis before and after palatal coverage (α=.05). Certainty of the evidence was verified using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) approach.


      Of 14 included studies, the risk of bias was considered low for 9 studies and moderate for 5 studies. Despite the very low certainty of evidence, meta-analyses showed no differences in oral stereognosis immediately after complete denture insertion (standardized mean difference [SMD]=0.302; 95% confidence interval [CI]: −0.124, 0.728; P=.165; I2=92.4%). Oral stereognosis scores improved after ≥1 month of complete denture use compared with initial evaluations without them. Qualitative analysis indicated that oral stereognosis was not influenced by palatal coverage shortly after complete denture installation and that oral stereognosis scores improved over time after prosthesis use.


      Oral stereognosis improved with the use of palate-covering prostheses over time. However, because of the very low certainty of evidence, the statement must be interpreted with caution.
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