Partial Denture Design

Partial denture design

Partial denture design starts with partial denture classification. A great resource for partial dental design is FFOFR. A great textbook is the Atlas of Removable Partial Denture Design. It will give ideal designs for different scenarios. For patient information on partial dentures check the link.

Atlas of Removable Partial Denture Design image

kennedy classification

parital denture kennedy classification

Dual path rpd or rotational path removable partial denture

A dual path rpd is a partial denture that rotates into an undercut. It does not have guide planes in the edentulous site. It avoids the use of clasps in the anterior area, thus why patients prefer it. Not many labs or dentists are familiar with this. We have struggled to find someone that knows about them and thus struggled to make them. Dr. Roger Solow has an article with BCI dental lab showing a case. The retention is created by rotating the framework into a proximal undercut, thus eliminating the need for a clasp. Thus it should be great for patients with Kennedy Class 1 and only teeth 6-11, as seen in Dr. Gullard Compendium article 2023.

Dental lab recommendations for partial dentures

Partial lab Arian Deutsch

Some AACD local doc recommended Satisfaction Dental Lab in Elgin

Metal work check DT thread – Jerimiah Nass at Inverness Dental Arts

Darwin recommends John at Zedan dental lab for precision partials.

Partial denture Kennedy Classification

Kennedy Class I

  • 2 RPI – Mesial rest, distal guide plane, and mid-buccal I-bar.  Long guide planes
  • 2 indirect

Kennedy Class II

  • RPI and 1 indirect same as above

Kennedy Class III

  • Same as class I just add distal reaching Akers on posterior teeth

Kennedy Class IV

  • 2 RPI – Distal rest, mesial guide plane, and mid-buccal I-bar
  • 2 distal reaching akers


partial denture design

Removable partial denture research

Vertical and horizontal bone loss is increased under a removable partial denture in comparison to dentate or edentulous patients. Ozan ACP

I can see this with a Kennedy class I removable partial denture patient, especially as the RPD becomes less stable.

Vermeulen JPD 96 Taking replacement or not wearing the RPD as failure criteria, the survival rate was 75% after 5 years and 50% after 10 years (half-life time).  Free end saddle worse tooth borne


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7 Responses to “Partial Denture Design”

  1. September 19, 2020 at 1:02 am #

    I need a partcial on top and one on the bottom, the top with one tooth and the bottom with 4 about how much did that cost? My girlfriend word need just a parcial on to with two teeth on it… Can you give me an estimated price

  2. September 19, 2022 at 8:29 pm #

    Can a cast metal upper partial last if all molars gone on one side only and clasp on lateral incisor on that side and on canine on the other side? Rest of teeth ok. I am thinking of partial or just leaving it be at age 80.

    • September 21, 2022 at 3:58 am #

      Like many things when you get to the outer limits of what is possible the answer is “it depends”. You would prob be happier and function better with an upper denture. Those work very well.

  3. October 2, 2022 at 3:21 pm #

    Hi- I am 75 yr old female with similar situation to above person. All the molars are gone on one upper side only , as is the canine ahead of it. Not a candidate for implants due to osteoporosis and osteoporosis drugs I was told. I am content with a shortened dental arch on that side ( not replacing the molars) and wondered if I can utilize a partial ( whichever type would work) just to replace perhaps that canine that was lost for esthetic reasons . All front teeth and those on other upper side are sturdy and I have all my lowers which are in very good shape. If remaining uppers ( 8 of them) were in bad shape I would go for a full denture but am hesitant to do so as they are strong and are preserving bone etc.

    • October 7, 2022 at 5:26 pm #

      That’s not an easy one. If you can’t have an implant you can’t pull teeth either so denture would be worse. Sorry can’t be of more help

  4. October 7, 2022 at 10:54 pm #

    Could you clarify your last answer when your time permits? I didn’t understand the reasoning of the following: that you mentioned: “if you can’t have an implant, you can’t pull teeth either so denture would be worse.” Sorry, as my dental knowledge is limited at best, I didn’t understand the range of thought. The only thing that came to mind is that the osteoporosis throws a wrench into things! Thank you.

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