The importance of communication in the construction of partial dentures

Key Points

  • To define the importance of communication in removable partial dentures, with the patient, the laboratory, and the dental nurse.

  • To inform clinicians of the indications for removal partial dentures, and how to carry out a comprehensive patient assessment.

  • To provide clinicians with an overview for construction of removable prosthesis, with predictable and successful prosthodontic outcomes.


Removable partial dentures (RPDs) are still a very important treatment modality in general dentistry to replace missing teeth. With the increase in popularity of implants, RPDs are sometimes seen as an 'old-fashioned' treatment option and if not carefully designed can be damaging to oral tissue and aesthetically less favourable. However, there is still a significantly large cohort of patients for whom RPDs are the best option for replacement of teeth either due to a failing dentition, inappropriate anatomy or financial considerations. This article explores the importance of effective three way communication with the patient, the laboratory and the dental nurse to support the provision of reliable and predictable prosthodontic outcomes.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3


  1. 1

    White D A, Tsakos G, Pitts N B et al. Adult Dental Health Survey 2009: Common oral health conditions and their impact on the population. Br Dent J 2012; 213: 567–572.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    The Adult Dental Health Survey. Available at (accessed 30 December 2016).

  3. 3

    The Adult Dental Health Survey Dataset. Available at (accessed 30 December 2016).

  4. 4

    Käyser A F . Shortened dental arches and oral function. J Oral Rehab 1981; 8: 457–462.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Witter D J, Haan A F, Käyser A F, Rossum G . A 6-year follow-up study of oral function in shortened dental arches. Part I: Occlusal stability. J Oral Rehab 1994; 21: 113–125.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Sarita P T, Witter D J, Kreulen C M, Van't Hof M A, Creugers N H . Chewing ability of subjects with shortened dental arches. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 2003; 31: 328–334.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Emami E, Feine J S . Resin-bonded cantilever partial dentures are effective in terms of patient satisfaction in the restoration of the mandibular shortened dental arch. J Evid Based Dent Pract 2010; 10: 64–66.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    The General Dental Council Scope of practice (accessed 24th May 2018)

  9. 9

    Clark R K F, Radford D R, Juszczyk A S . Current trends in removable partial denture teaching in British dental schools. Br Dent J 2010; 211: 531–535.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10

    Cabot L, Radford D R . Are graduates as good as they used to be? Br Dent J 1999; 186: 318–319.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11

    Lynch C D, Allen P F . Why do dentists struggle with removable partial denture design? An assessment of financial and educational issues. Br Dent J 2006; 200: 277–281.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12

    Juszczyk A S, Clark R K F, Radford D R . UK dental laboratory technicians' views on the efficacy and teaching of clinical-laboratory communication. Br Dent J 2009; 206: E21.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13

    Hancocks S . Teaching of removable prosthodontics in the UK. Br Dent J 2006; 201: 129.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14

    General Dental Council. Standards for the dental team. 2013. Online information available at (accessed January 2017).

  15. 15

    Davis D M, Fiske J, Scott B, Radford D R . The emotional effects of tooth loss in a group of partially dentate people: a quantitative study. Eur J Prosthodont Restor Dent 2001; 9: 53–57.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  16. 16

    British National Formulary, September 2016-March 2017. pp 1051. As accessed 30 December 2016.

  17. 17

    Bilhan H . Preparation of the mouth for removable partial dentures. In Removable partial dentures. pp. 53–61. Springer International Publishing, 2016.

    Google Scholar 

  18. 18

    Preshaw P M, Walls A W, Jakubovics N S, Moynihan P J, Jepson N J, Loewy Z . Association of removable partial denture use with oral and systemic health. J Dent 2011; 39: 711–719.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19

    Dental Laboratories Association. Online information available at (accessed 13 February 2017).

  20. 20

    Barsby, M J, Schwarz W D . The qualitative assessment of cobalt chromium castings for partial dentures. Br Dent J 1989; 166: 211–216.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to S. Bhola.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Bhola, S., Hellyer, P. & Radford, D. The importance of communication in the construction of partial dentures. Br Dent J 224, 853–856 (2018).

Download citation

Further reading