When To Choose a Valplast Partial Over Acrylic or Metal Framework Partial

Valplast flexible partialMany doctors call our lab and ask, “When do I choose Valplast compared to other restorations such as an acrylic partial, a metal cast partial, or a Thermoflex (Acetal Resin) partial?” If you are considering Valplast, make certain that you are not working with an immediate partial case. We never suggest relining a Valplast partial – ever. You don’t reline a Valplast partial. You remake it. Patient selection is important. Therefore, make sure the patient is not an immediate or a post-immediate.

We also don’t suggest using a Valplast appliance when the patient’s lower ridge is extremely resorbed. If the patient has thin tissue over a resorbed ridge, a Valplast partial may never be comfortable for them to wear.

Anxiety Dental Patient

With many other cases, Valplast works great. It is an excellent choice especially for patients who are looking for an extremely esthetic restoration where there are no visible metal clasps, cast clasps, or Acetal Resin clasps. These types of clasps aren’t as invisible and don’t look as good as Valplast gingival clasps.

Here in the dental chair, we have our patient. She is missing some of her upper teeth and will need a partial restoration. We can see her canine will be an anchor tooth for a partial. We would like to avoid placing a visible metal clasp on the canine. Therefore, we choose a Valplast restoration. She also has some anterior teeth missing (lateral incisors). For this case, we will use a gingiva-colored Valplast clasps around both of the canines. The Valplast restoration will be great esthetic choice for this patient.

Making a Valplast restoration is more forgiving compared to a metal or a titanium partial.

You can use either polyvinyl or the Accudent alginate system to take impressions. Both will work equally well. With Valplast, it is important to make sure that the borders of the impression are not over-extended. If the borders are kept shorter, the partial will actually have a better fit. We have taken this patient’s impression with polyvinyl siloxane. Be sure the borders are not over-extended. With Valplast, there is no reason to take a preliminary impression followed by a final impression. You can directly take the final impression, eliminating unnecessary steps.

When it comes to doing a wax try-in of the teeth, do it only when it is absolutely necessary (i.e. for cases with questionable bite records). Otherwise omit the try-in entirely. The reason: after the try-in, the lab must remove all of the teeth from the baseplate and reposition them directly on the model. This is because the baseplate of a Valplast partial must be fabricated with a very precise uniform thickness. The thickness of the material determines how well the final partial will fit in the patient’s mouth.

Taking a bite is very simple. Warm the bite rims so the wax is soft. Place the bite rim in the patient’s mouth and allow the patient to bite into the wax completely. Then cool the wax and remove the bite rim from the mouth. For cases with minimal missing teeth, you may record the bite using your favorite polyvinyl bite record material instead of the bite rims.

Many dental professionals have tried Valplast partials before and they did not work well for them. They ask us, “Why does it work now?”

When we make a Valplast partial, we block out the buccal ridge tissue. It is extremely important to do that. When the partial settles into the mouth and against the patient’s palatal tissue, we don’t want the flange of the partial to cut into the buccal tissue or scrape the bone upon insertion. Many labs avoid this block out step because a duplicate model is necessary. For a great-fitting Valplast partial, this step is extremely important and worthwhile. At Stomadent, we anticipate the partial will settle therefore we block out the buccal undercuts before we construct the partial. Doing this will prevent sore spots and numerous chairside adjustments.

The thickness of a Valplast partial is extremely important.

If the baseplate is slightly thick, the material becomes more rigid and more difficult to insert. This will cause the partial to gauge into the tissue. Stomadent takes the thickness of a Valplast partial very seriously. When you receive a Valplast partial from us, you will see that it does fit well.

Back to our patient.

We have the Valplast partial to deliver to the patient that we saw earlier. Before inserting the partial, place the partial in warm to hot tap water. This will allow the material to become more flexible. By doing this, you will be able to insert the partial into the patient’s mouth more gently. Once fully seated, the partial becomes nearly invisible in the mouth. With proper tooth and gingival shade selections, it is difficult to tell which teeth are real and which teeth are a part of the restoration. When the patient is looking for esthetics and a restoration that will not be visible, Valplast is the best choice. This is especially true for replacing missing teeth on the upper arch.