Should Flexible Partials be Included?

Aesthetics, affordability, function, and biocompatibility are some of the properties that come to mind when considering removable tooth replacement options for your patients. Flexible partial dentures have all of these benefits, plus the comfort that many dental patients demand.

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In the Dentist’s Bag of Tricks: Should Flexible Partials be Included?

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By Dr. Hudnall M.D

Let’s face it — most dental patients who are missing teeth want a removable denture appliance that is comfortable to wear. Otherwise, it will sit in a drawer in spite of your best efforts. The ideal removable dental restoration must make your patient feel as though it is a part of their own body.

flexible partial dentures cost

Comfort Embodied in a Flexible Denture Base

Flexible Valplast partials feel more like a natural restoration when compared to other removable restorations. These partial dentures hug the patient’s gum tissue and their flexible clasps snap securely into place around the existing dentition and gingiva, providing a comfortable fit that you can only get with Valplast dentures.

A Valplast partial can provide tremendous comfort compared to traditional metal partial dentures with acrylic saddles. The malleable base of flexible partial dentures has less thickness than its metal framework counterpart while offering stability and functionality while chewing.

Hybrid Applications

For large-span edentulous areas or areas where a partial denture requires a free-end design, consider combining the flexible partial material with a metal framework. Marrying the comfort and aesthetics of the flexible resin denture base with the stability and rigidity of a traditional metal framework partial denture might be the right solution for patients seeking both improved comfort and aesthetics while requiring additional security.

Periodontal Applications

Patients with periodontal disease or lack of bone support can benefit from the clasping system incorporated into flexible partials. Since these clasps hug the gingiva, they place less tension on the abutment teeth than traditional cast metal or wrought wire clasps. This allows teeth with some periodontal involvement to last much longer without becoming loose.

A Flexible Partial Denture for One Tooth

All dentists have cases where the patient is missing one very visible tooth and doesn’t have the resources for an implant or a fixed bridge. Alternatively, we also encounter patients who are saving up for a dental implant but desire an aesthetic transitional appliance. A unilateral flexible partial denture for one tooth is an economical tooth replacement option and is ideal for preserving the edentulous space for a future implant-supported dental restoration.

With any kind of dental restoration, case-specific options must be considered. Assess if the patient might be in danger of swallowing or aspirating a one-tooth partial denture. Take the time to understand your patient before offering a Nesbit partial as an option. Ask yourself if a unilateral flexible partial denture for one tooth is the right type of dental restoration for that particular patient.

Working With Valplast Flexible Partials

flexible partial dentures cost

Taking Impressions

Like any restoration, accurate impressions are necessary for proper fit. The very best method to capture the patient’s anatomy is digitally using a chairside scanner. In the absence of an automated workflow, a good alginate impression such as the Accudent impression system by Ivoclar is another option to consider.

Adjusting Valplast Material

The flexible Valplast denture material typically requires very minimal adjustments, if any at all. To make minor adjustments to these flexible partial dentures, you will need a special set of tools that are different from those used to adjust acrylic dentures. This tutorial video explains the armamentarium and the process in greater detail. Valplast also offers an adjustment kit that can be ordered directly from the manufacturer.

Durability and Lifespan

Valplast partial dentures are meant to last and not break if cared for properly. Depending upon how the patient cares for their flexible partial denture, the partial may need to be adjusted or repaired over time. A well-cared-for partial denture should last about 5 years. However, a flexible partial that is abused, allowed to dry out, or soaked in denture cleansers is likely to become brittle and hardened over time.

Inform your patients with pets that dogs and other animals love to chew on removable dental appliances. Flexible partial dentures are no exception. The teeth of animals can render Valplast partials nonrepairable. When flexible partial dentures are not being worn, they should be stored in water in a sealed container. For some dental patients, this can be a difficult and costly lesson to learn.

Flexible Partial Denture Costs

When we speak of partial dentures cost and flexible partial dentures cost specifically, there are two different price scales depending upon whether the cost is to the patient or to the dentist. Patients often perform an internet search for this information and question why there is such a big difference between the two price scales.

The difference between the cost to the dentist and the cost to the patient represents all of the procedures that must happen in the dental office in order for the partial to be fabricated by the dental laboratory.

For the patient, the average partial dentures cost for all partial dentures ranges from $600 to $3,000. The laboratory cost to the dentist averages between $200 to $600 and up, depending on the design and materials used to construct the partial.

The flexible partial dentures cost to patients averages somewhere between $900-$1,500 while the flexible partial dentures cost to dentists ranges anywhere from $200 to $500. Again, these figures vary depending upon the type of partial being produced.

A typical flexible partial that replaces all of the missing teeth in a single arch has a higher price point than a flexible partial denture replacing one tooth. Likewise, the flexible partial dentures cost for a hybrid partial will be considerably higher than the cost of typical flexible partials because it is a custom-made appliance that incorporates a metal framework.

Rebases and Repairs

Quite simply, Valplast flexible partial dentures aren’t relined or rebased — a new one is made instead. Relining a flexible partial is usually met with disastrous results.

There is always a reason that any partial denture breaks. We all have patients who have worn the same flexible partial denture for many years and have lost additional natural teeth along the way. They don’t want to give up their old partial denture even though the topography of their mouth has changed. In their mind, the partial still fits even though their dentist can clearly see that it doesn’t.

With any partial denture repair, the benefits to the patient must outweigh the disadvantages. A good rule of thumb for repairs: If a partial denture is being asked to perform in a way that was never originally intended, a new partial that fits the new configuration is the treatment of choice.

flexible partial dentures cost

Adding Flexible Partials To Your Treatment Offerings

Valplast partial dentures have distinct comfort and aesthetic advantages over traditional acrylic-based partial dentures and may be utilized in cases where patient comfort is a top priority. With a relatively economical partial denture cost, these flexible partial dentures may be an excellent option for use as a temporary tooth replacement when a dental implant will be the endgame. Flexible partials also work well to replace missing teeth long-term when the cost of other restorative dental treatment is a major obstacle.

Stomadent: A Valplast Certified Laboratory

If you haven’t considered offering flexible partial dentures, Valplast may quickly become your partial of choice for certain applications and should be added to the treatment options available for your dental patients. Stomadent Dental Laboratory is a Valplast certified dental lab. We would be happy to help answer any questions that you may have about Valplast products or get started on your next flexible partial case. Contact Stomadent Dental Lab today to learn more!


I have been working with flexible partials for approximately 13 years now. I have to agree that, for whatever the reason, the tissue response to flexible partial dentures is excellent. I also routinely see less resorption of the bone with flexible partials in comparison to traditional partial dentures. Almost every patient I've ever had who had previously worn a cast partial and switched to a flexible partial said that the flexible partial is far more comfortable.

Teeth can be added to flexible partials. I tell my patients that teeth can be added to a flexible partial, however, tooth additions incur a higher cost (a rebase vs. repair) in comparison to cast or acrylic partials. I tell them it's the price they'll have to pay in these instances if they want the comfort and aesthetic outcomes of a flexible partial.

Barry Parisien DD


Adjustment Technique