Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Tandheelkunde vol:115 issue:7 pages:388-93
In dentistry 3 aspects may lead to an improvement in the quality of life: pain reduction, aesthetic adjustments, and improvement of masticatory performance. Only the improvement of masticatory performance can be assessed objectively. Althougn orthodontists often claim that they improve masticatory performance, they seldom initiate treatment on the basis of functional limitations. Patients also often express the expectation that orthodontic treatment will improve their oral functions. Chewing is dependent on various anatomical, physiological and physical factors. The combination of all of these factors can reduce food particles to a greater or lesser extent. The magnitude of food reduction is known as masticatory performance. The masticatory performance is related to quality of life since it influences food selection, the quality of digestion, and the experience or enjoyment of eating. The smaller food particles are the easier will be the subsequent enzymatic food digestion during the later phases of digestion. Because it is clear that malocclusions cause functional limitations, it is concluded that orthodontists should integrate functional goals in their treatments in order to improve the quality of life of their patients.