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Why Learning About Designing Partial Dentures Is Important in a Denturist Program

Dental technician working on a pair of dentures.Many adults experience partial edentulism, the condition of having lost one or more teeth, throughout their lives. For some, a missing tooth may not cause problems day-to-day but more often than not a client will want to seek a solution for those gaps between their remaining teeth. Experienced denturists know that partial edentulism can cause a loss of confidence where clients hide their smiles, or digestion problems from not being able to chew food properly, or general discomfort from extra strain placed on their remaining teeth.

The need for partial dentures may be due to an accident, poor oral health care, disease, or other health issues. Whatever the reason may be, there is a demand for denturists to develop knowledge and skills to address these clients’ needs.

Partial denture design includes consideration of a number of factors such as whether it will be removable or not, as well as other client concerns regarding aesthetics, comfort, and long term oral health prognosis. Continue reading to learn more about the specialized knowledge it takes, as well as why it’s so important to a denturist career!

Partial Denture Design Is Client Specific

It’s true that there are general design principles and best practices when creating partial dentures for a client, but consultation and planning are fundamental to this process. As denturists know, the design of partial dentures will depend on the client profile.
In order to ensure a systematic design approach, a client’s oral health should be assessed. For example, if there is a possibility that the client may lose more teeth soon, the design of the partial denture may be adjusted. It may also be the case that a temporary solution is required, which may change the denturist’s choice of materials. Metal structures are used as bases for long-term dentures, but acrylics may be used for temporary dentures. Generally, clients go to a professional who has completed a denturist course for long-term solutions that help maintain their overall oral health.

Close-up of a senior woman smiling.Denturists work with clients to keep them smiling with confidence

The Sequence for Designing Partial Dentures Is Technical and Creative

Throughout a denturist career, you will find there are unlimited options for how to design a partial denture. As mentioned above, each denture depends on the client’s circumstances. A thorough and successful plan for partial dentures includes biochemical, biomechanical, and aesthetic factors. If the plan is to give the client removable dentures, insertion and removal paths will also need to be considered. While there is variation and room for creativity on how each step of designing partial dentures will be approached, there are frequently occurring situations and basic principles that guide the decisions made by a trained denturist.

One of the first things to be done is to cast a mold of the client’s remaining teeth. With this reference, the denturist can draw an ideal partial denture and all its components including rests, major and minor connectors, base connectors, and retainers. This design will be revised after further client consultation as well as an assessment of abutment, arch, and occlusal criteria—that is, how the partial denture will fit and be supported by the client’s remaining teeth and tissue.

Partial Denture Design Is a Key Part of a Complete Denturist Program

If a denturist is not trained on how to design, fit, and assess partial dentures, their expertise will be incomplete. While a lot of people may think of dentures as complete sets of teeth used by mostly senior clients, many adults of all ages experience partial loss of teeth as well. Clients in need of partial dentures present an important demographic serviced by denturists. This is why learning how to design, construct, and maintain partial dentures are essential aspects of a denturist training program.

Are you interested in pursuing a denturist career?

Learn more about the denturist program available at Oxford College!

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