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Modern partial dentures - part 1: novel manufacturing techniques


While the conventional fabrication of removal partial dentures through the lost-wax technique is a time-tested technique, it is recognised as a 'complicated, error-prone, time-consuming and expensive process'. This has financial implications and can lead to increased chair time for the patient and dentist, resulting from low precision and ill-fitting frameworks. The use of computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacture brings removable prosthodontics into the digital era and opens up a host of benefits to the practitioner and laboratory technician. This paper introduces the benefits and downsides to adopting a digital workflow, and looks at the various alternative manufacturing techniques, which allow the clinician and technician to streamline their processes and make use of novel denture materials.

Key points

  • CAD-CAM systems are increasingly being adopted in the design and fabrication of removable prostheses.

  • The digital workflow is more time-efficient, can eliminate technique sensitivity and allows for easier collaborative discussions between patient, clinician and technician.

  • Computer-aided manufacture allows for the introduction of newer materials with advantageous properties when compared to traditional materials.

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Dr Olivia Barraclough, Dr David Gray, Dr Zaid Ali and Professor Brian Nattress have all equally contributed to writing and editing this manuscript.

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Correspondence to Olivia Barraclough.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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Barraclough, O., Gray, D., Ali, Z. et al. Modern partial dentures - part 1: novel manufacturing techniques. Br Dent J 230, 651–657 (2021).

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