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Volume 22 , Issue 2
March/April 2009

Pages 161–167


When to Choose Which Retention Element to Use for Removable Dental Prostheses

Nicola U. Zitzmann/Urs Rohnerb/Roland Weiger/Gabriel Krastl


PMID: 19418863

The aim of this article is to introduce criteria for planning treatment with a removable dental prosthesis (RDP) in a partially dentate arch, including the indications for placement of dental implants. The retention of RDPs is achieved through clasps, adhesive attachments, crowns, and fixed partial dentures with intra- or extracoronal attachments, telescopes, root caps, and/or prefabricated interradicular retainers. RDP designs vary from a removable partial denture to an overdenture prosthesis. Potential abutment teeth are selected for RDP retention according to their prognosis, their position in the arch, and the planned prosthesis design. Retainer selection mainly depends on the remaining tooth substance, the intra- and intermaxillary relationships, esthetics, and financial aspects. With dental implants as additional retainers, the supportive area for the RDP is increased, the soft tissue load is minimized, and the extension of the base of the prosthesis can be reduced to enhance a patient’s comfort. For RDP planning, strategic considerations are needed to determine the appropriate prosthesis design, to select the abutment teeth, and to choose the appropriate retention element for each particular abutment. Int J Prosthodont 2009;22:161–167


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