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For Authors Continuing Education
Vol. 69, No. 8
ISSN: 1488-2159
September 2003


Communicating Complexity: Using a Diagnostic Classification System for Edentulous Patients


• Randall D. Mazurat, BSc, DDS, MDEd •
• Nita M. Mazurat, DDS •

A b s t r a c t

A significant number of edentulous patients with complex treatment needs are seen in private practice and faculties of dentistry. The American College of Prosthodontists has developed a classification system for complete edentulism that can be used to guide overall treatment planning and management of patients with complete dentures. The system focuses on specific diagnostic variables and uses a checklist format that can be applied rapidly and easily.

Although there is currently little published data to indicate a direct relationship between classification and prognosis, the system can be applied by dental students and dental practitioners to determine the demographic characteristics of edentulous patients. For example, the system has been used by undergraduates in a dental school to determine the suitability of patients for treatment and to assign patients needing complex treatment to appropriate staff–student teams. Discussing the classification system with patients helps practitioners to communicate the complexity of treatment required and may aid in reconciling expectations with outcomes.


MeSH Key Words: denture, complete; mouth, edentulous/classification; patient care planning
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