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What are Removable Partial Dentures?

Removable partial dentures are placed as a treatment measure to partially edentulous teeth to restore functionality and preserve aesthetics. Lack of teeth may prevent the placement of a bridge in which case this prosthesis helps the patients with flexibility of placement and removal. A removable prosthesis can be removed and reinserted by the patients themselves but a fixed prosthesis requires a dental professional.

Classification of partially edentulous arches

The edentulous arches are classified to develop a proficient treatment plan and to forecast any contingencies that may occur during the treatment. There are several classification systems but Kennedy’s classification system proposed by Dr. Edward Kennedy is the most widely used approach. It is based on the affinity of the abutment teeth to the edentulous spaces.

Edentulous arches are classified as follows:

Kennedy Class I: For areas bilaterally edentulous posterior to the prevailing natural teeth; distal extension saddles are used to restore the edentulous areas also known as bilateral free ended partially edentulous

Kennedy Class II: Unilateral areas edentulous and located posterior to the natural remaining teeth also called unilateral free ended partially edentulous

Kennedy Class III: Natural teeth exist both anterior and posterior to the unilateral edentulous area known as unilateral bounded partially edentulous

Kennedy Class IV: The edentulous area is located anterior to the prevailing natural teeth and is single and bilateral in nature

Components of a definitive RPD:

Major connector: components of one side of the arch are connected to the other side; the major connector should be rigid, contoured, carry minimum bulk and circumjacent structures should be avoided; there are also maxillary major connectors and mandibular major connectors

Minor connectors: minor connectors act as a connection between the major connector and other components; the minor connector may not be a distinct constituent but could also a continuous palatal plate

Direct retainers: a retentive arm or a direct retainer is used to prevent expulsion of the RPD from the abutment tooth; the prosthesis is stabilized by encompassing part of the tooth

Denture base: prosthetic teeth are attached to the foundation tissues with the help of a denture base; this assists in connectivity when the denture base supports the tooth tissue; the edentulous ridges are also supported with the transfer of occlusal forces

Artificial prosthetic teeth: artificial teeth are placed to replace missing natural teeth; occlusal forces are transferred to the denture base and provide functional support

Functions of components:

Support: support enables the transfer of occlusal forces to the teeth and denture tissues; the prosthesis is rendered stable and immovable

Retention and indirect retention: retention is to protect the tissues along the area where the prosthesis is placed; indirect retention is to resist the rotational movement of a denture base away from the denture foundation and along the retentive fulcrum line or RFL

Reciprocation: force exerted on one part of the RPD is counterbalanced or negated by another part of the RPD

Bracing: the horizontal forces of mastication and the tongue are provided resistance

Aesthetics: functional characteristics of the missing teeth are replaced by the prosthetic

Connection: when components of the RPD are linked to one another appropriately

RPD at Dental Solutions, Bangalore

At Dental Solutions, Bangalore Sunflex ® Partial Dentures are used. These are free from metal, unbreakable and come in a variety of types to choose from. They are made of biocompatible monomer-free nylon thermoplastic, are invisible and offer a great degree of flexibility to the patient. It is also stain-resistant, does not warp or become brittle. They do not discolour, are easily adjustable and extremely lightweight. Sunflex ® has the ability to provide aesthetically appealing and fully functional teeth.