When a Dentist Should Choose Acrylic, Flexible or Metal Partial Dentures

Partial Dentures Overview

Choosing the Right Partial for your Patient

  • Acrylic (2:15)
  • Valplast (4:05)
  • Titanium (4:10)
  • Acetal Resin (4:00)
  • Overview (3:10)

Valplast Partials

Valplast flexible partialNext is our Valplast partial. The Valplast partial is likely the most esthetic partial on the market right now. It works very well for many patients but it doesn’t work for all patients or tooth configurations. Never choose a Valplast partial for an immediate partial case or even a post-immediate case. The product manufacturer claims that you can reline Valplast. We never recommend to reline a Valplast partial because you will have a difficult time adjusting the relined partial to fit patient’s mouth.

One use for a Valplast partial is when the patient has six upper anterior teeth. With other partials, the clasps will be visible. Valplast utilizes gingival clasping therefore the clasps will not be visible, resulting in a very esthetic partial. You also can use a Valplast partial for mandibular cases where you want the restoration to be very lightweight, non-allergenic, and the patient wants a restoration that doesn’t involve any metal. Valplast will work great in this scenario.

One consideration to keep in mind is a Valplast partial is not a tooth-borne partial. It is a gingiva-borne partial. If the patient’s tissue is very thin, the patient may never get used to wearing it, especially on the lower ridge. Patient selection is important. Make sure the patient’s tissue has an adequate thickness of tissue that is healthy. For those patients, this partial will work great.

Chrome Cobalt Partials

Wironium FrameworkWe want to move to a conventional chrome cobalt partial. Now, these partials are digitally designed. As you can see on our screen that we digitally design those partials. Digital designing has all kinds of advantages. Since we are able to scan the model and do the block out and surveying digitally, a technician never has to manually work on this model. When a model is worked on manually, when cutting the wax down or applying the wax, there is a big possibility the model will be distorted or perhaps the cusp of a tooth will be altered. In the end, this partial will not fit perfectly in the patient’s mouth even though it may fit great on the model. Because the model was slightly modified, you will likely experience some trouble fitting this partial into the patient’s mouth.

When you design the partial digitally, the model is scanned and blocked out digitally. Then teeth can be printed to exactly fit the edentulous spaces from a resin material. The framework is printed from a castable resin. The castable resin framework is flasked and cast into any type of chrome cobalt alloy, such as Vitallium or Wironium. The precision will be much greater with digital designing compared to conventional methods. You will find that digitally designed chrome cobalt partials fit a lot better than traditional partials you were used to working with.

Titanium Partial

titanium frameworkWe have introduced a new type of metal partial. It is a titanium milled partial. This is a step above a digitally designed chrome cobalt partial. When you mill a partial directly from the material that is going to be placed in the patient’s mouth, the precision is incredible.

When making a digitally designed chrome cobalt partial, the framework is printed from a castable resin material or a resin wax. When it is cast and the resin is replaced with alloy, of course there will be slight distortion. It’s enough that with a difficult case you may have to adjust the partial at chairside slightly before it fits precisely. With a milled titanium partial, the partial is milled directly from a block of titanium bypassing the need to print the framework in a resin and cast the framework separately.

What kind of advantages you have when you use the titanium milled partial? First, titanium is 400% lighter than a chrome cobalt alloy yielding a much lighter partial in the patient’s mouth. It has very similar properties to chrome cobalt, such as Vitallium or Wironium. This means that you can easily adjust the claps if you need to increase the retention. It is extremely strong and durable. You don’t need to worry about titanium breaking when making minor adjustments.

Titanium is also bio-compatible. That’s why we use titanium implants, not only in the dental industry but in the medical industry as well. You are getting a very bio-compatible product that is four times less in weight than any chrome cobalt alloy. It is extremely strong and has all the malleability properties of chrome cobalt. Because it is milled instead of being printed in resin first, the precision is much greater. A titanium framework is superior to any similar product on the market today. If you order a titanium partial from Stomadent, you will likely find it to be the best fitting partial that you have ever dealt with anywhere.

Acetal Resin Partial

Acetal Resin PartialLet’s say the patient says they don’t want to have any metal in their mouth. You cannot choose the chrome cobalt or titanium. You can choose the Valplast partial. If you want something that you can reline or you want a tooth-borne partial (rather than a gingival-borne partial) because you want to utilize rest preps, an Acetal Resin framework is an appropriate choice.

Acetal Resin is basically a metal substitute. An Acetal Resin partial is created and treated exactly the same as a metal partial. Instead of printing or milling from metal, you mill the framework from an Acetal Resin pod. We milled this framework from an Acetal Resin pod. And we would treat it exactly the same as a metal partial framework.

With an Acetal Resin partial, you can request a wax try-in. After the try-in, we can process the partial. Or we are able to set teeth without a try-in and process it directly. What if later you need to reline this partial? Take a regular pick up impression just like for a reline of a cast metal partial. We can utilize the rest preps in the processing like we do with the metal partial and it will fit great. It will also look fantastic because the clasps are not made of visible metal. They are from Acetal Resin.

Acetal Resin has all of the Vita A-shades ranging from A1 to A4 and even bleaching shades. We also have some of the C- and D-shades. You can choose the best shade for your patient’s teeth and can mill a partial from the shade of your choice. The lab will treat the entire process exactly like we would process a metal partial.

Another advantage of the Acetal Resin partial is the clasps are slightly flexible. They are not as flexible as Valplast, but practically speaking you don’t want them to be Valplast-flexible when it comes to working with a metal substitute. Slightly flexible clasps mean we can utilize a much deeper undercut for greater retention. The clasp will be designed to sit closer to the tissue, be less visible, and the retention would be much improved compared with metal clasps.

Another advantage is that this partial is very bio-compatible and non-allergenic. It will fit great, look good. For the patient who doesn’t want a metal partial, Acetal Resin will be a great option for them.

Why is the milling of Acetal Resin becoming extremely popular? We have been using this material for many years in other industries. It is an extremely strong material. Acetal Resin is used in car engines. It has been tested in an engine that has been working for 50,000 miles. That material shows pretty much no wear to it at all. This extremely strong material that has been used in some other industries as well.

Now it is available for use in the dental industry. Previously, we were injecting the material. To do this, the dental lab would wax up the case, similar to a metal partial. Then the material was injected into a flask under pressure. When the resin is injected in this manner, there will be some distortion and polymerization shrinkage. With milling from pre-polymerized material pods, the fit is precise. They also look nice in the patient’s mouth. They can be thin and at the same time very strong. Acetal Resin frameworks are also four times less in weight than chrome cobalt. The final restoration is similar in weight to a titanium partial.


How do you choose the best type of partial for your patient?

The acrylic partial is a basic partial that works in many situations, including immediate cases. Since we are digital designing it now, the precision and fit of the acrylic partial is a lot better than in the past.

Next is the Valplast partial. Choose this partial for a patient that wants an extremely esthetic partial with no visible clasps. We do suggest that you never use it for immediate cases or even post-immediate cases.

For metal partials, we have the option of fabricating a chrome cobalt partial. It is digitally designed for an improved fit. Alternatively, you may choose the revolutionary titanium partial. It is non-allergic and four times lighter in weight than a similar chrome cobalt partial.

The Acetal Resin partial, formerly known as the Thermoflex partial, is a great alternative for patients who want a restoration that would work like a metal partial and be treated as a metal partial but wants to avoid having any metal in their mouth. You will love these partials. Patients will love these partials. They fit great. They have great retention. And, they are very strong as well.

These are the different types of partial dentures that we offer at Stomadent. If you have additional questions, you can call us. We will be happy to take your questions and explain to your satisfaction in an effort to help you make the best selection for your particular patient. Or you can go to our website. There you’ll be able to find more information about each type of partial. We also have videos available that discuss each partial individually. These videos go into greater depth and will help you learn the best way to take an impression for a specific partial, find out what kind of impressions we require, when it is appropriate to do a try-in, etc. Give us a call or log into our website and check us out.