Removable Partial Denture Design: A Need to Focus on Hygienic Principles?
Bengt Öwall, LDS, Odont Dr/PhDa, Ejvind Budtz-Jörgensen, DDS, Dr Odontb, John Davenport, BDS, FDSRCS, PhDc, Eiko Mushimoto, DDS, Dr Med Dent, PhDd, Sigvard Palmqvist, LDS, Odont Dr/PhDe, Robert Renner, DDSf, Afrodite Sofou, DDS, Dr Dentg, Bernd Wöstmann, Dr Med Denth
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to critically analyze important hygienic/secondary
prophylactic and biomechanical aspects of removable partial denture (RPD) design.
Materials and Methods: The literature related to traditional biomechanical design and
open/hygienic design of RPDs was discussed by the authors at a 2.5-day workshop. The
written report was circulated among the authors until a consensus was reached. Results:
There is little scientific support for most of the traditional design principles of RPDs, nor has
patient satisfaction shown any correlation with design factors. However, there is evidence
that an open/hygienic design is more important than biomechanical aspects for long-term
oral health. The biomechanical importance of some components is questioned, eg, indirect
retention and guiding planes. Alternative connector designs that reduce risks of tissue injury
are described. Direct retainers and pontics are discussed in relation to the possibilities they
offer for gingival relief. Conclusion: Greater attention should be paid to RPD design
principles that minimize the risks of tissue injury and plaque accumulation in accordance
with modern concepts of preventive dentistry. Int J Prosthodont 2002;15:371–378.