Objectives: Many studies have investigated the relationship between the use of dentures and cancer development. Of particular interest is whether ill-fitting dentures increase the likelihood of the development of cancer. Several studies have also examined the length of time of denture use and whether this is related to cancer risk.
Materials and Methods: In this study, a number of databases were searched (PubMed, Medline, EMBASE, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews) in an attempt to investigate any relationship between denture use and oral cancer development. In particular, length of time of denture use and the comfort and fit of the dentures were investigated.
Results: The findings suggest that there is no significant association between the presence of cancer and the length of time of denture use, however, this might be due to the arbitrary nature of what we defined as short and long term and may have been affected by the inconsistency in time categorization between different studies. It was expected that the use of dentures is, in itself, associated with the development of cancer, however this meta-analysis did not yield a statistically significant result for this (OR: 1.42, CI: 0.01 - 1.99). However, interestingly, it was found that the use of ill-fitting dentures appears to significantly increase the risk of developing cancer (OR: 3.90, CI: 2.48 - 6.13).
Conclusion: Ill-fitting dentures are a risk factor for the development of oral cancer, greater patient education and regular checking of dentures by dentist’s should be undertaken as a prevention measure.