Volume 53, Issue 9 p. 539-549

Tooth Loss in 100 Treated Patients With Periodontal Disease: A Long-Term Study

Walter T. McFall Jr.

Walter T. McFall Jr.

Professor, Department of Periodontics, School of Dentistry, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27514.

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First published: 01 September 1982
Citations: 430
Send reprint requests to: Dr. Walter T. McFall, Jr., Department of Periodontics, School of Dentistry, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27514.


A population of 100 patients with periodontal disease who had been treated and maintained for 15 years or longer was studied for tooth loss. The patients averaged 43.8 years of age and consisted of 59 females and 41 males. Patients were examined and their dental records were reviewed. On the basis of response to therapy and tooth loss, the patients were classified as Well-Maintained (77), Downhill (15), or Extreme Downhill (8). At the completion of initial treatment, 2,627 teeth were present. Of this number, during the maintenance period, 259 teeth (9.8%) were lost due to periodontal disease, while 40 teeth (1.5%) were lost due to other causes. Evaluation was made as to patterns of tooth loss, loss of questionable teeth, loss of teeth with furcations, surgical vs. nonsurgical therapy, and presence of fixed or removable prostheses. Considerable variation occurred between response groups. Periodontal disease appears to be bilaterally symmetrical and tooth loss emulated this pattern with greatest loss of maxillary second molars and least loss of mandibular cuspids.