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Valplast: Flexible, aesthetic partial dentures

Valplast: Flexible, aesthetic partial dentures

Michael DiTolla, DDS, FAGD Like many other topics in dental school, removable partial dentures were taught in a rather dogmatic fashion. Design and function were stressed, as they should be, butfor the most partesthetic issues were ignored. Rather conspicuous clasps, such as I-bars, were placed on maxillary cuspids without a lot of thought given towards how this would affect the patients' opinion and confidence in a given prosthesis. Upon entering private practice, many of us learned that patients would sometimes simply refuse to wear unesthetic partials, unless they replaced maxillary anterior teeth. In those early days I cut off more I-bars than I care to remember and replaced them with a soldered clasp that did not work as well, but could not be seen from 50 feet when the patient smiled. With the rapid advances in esthetic materials and techniques in the fixed prosthodontic arena, it is no wonder that patients requiring removable prosthesis expect us to achieve esthetic results when we replace their missing teeth. Partially or fully edentulous patients comprise nearly half of the aging population, and this group is projected to triple by the year 2010, ensuring that removable prosthodontics will continue to be part of the general dentist's restorative practice for decades to Fig. 1A close up of an all-Valplast come. lower partial denture replacing two Since its introduction in the 1950s, Valplast has been lower molars. These all-Valplast satisfying both to dentists and patients as a more esthetic, yet fully functional alternative to traditional cast partials are the most esthetic option available today for partial dentures. metal based removable partial dentures. Valplast is a Click here to enlarge image flexible base resin ideal for partial dentures or unilateral restorations. The biocompatible nylon and thermoplastic resin of Valplast provide an ideal degree of flexibility and stability when processed and finished to the recommended thickness. Additionally, the color, shape and design of Valplast partials blend seamlessly with the natural appearance of the gingival tissues, making the prosthesis nearly invisible. The strong, durable clasps snap securely and comfortably into place around the existing natural dentition and

gingival. Since the strength of the Valplast resin does not require a metal framework, it eliminates the metallic taste that many patients complain about. It also enables the partial to be fabricated thinly enough with nonmetal clasps to avoid the bulky feeling often associated with large, nonesthetic traditional metal partials. I have found that study models are useful in helping to communicate to the patient what their material options are for removable restorations. I have three models available for patients to inspect: a traditional cast metal partial, an all Valplast partial, and a Valplast partial with a cast lingual subframe and Valplast clasps. In cases of large edentulous areas, this third option works well to provide additional support while still addressing the patient's desire to have the most esthetic clasps available. Patients seem most naturally drawn to the Valplast study model, and I can't recall the last time a patient requested a metal based partial with all other Fig. 2For increased strength factors being equal. Valplast can be used in conjuction For maximum strength, Valplast can be fabricated with a with a cast metal frame such as cast metal frame, such as Vitallium 2000. With a tensile Vitallium 2000, which decreases the flexibility of the prosthesis. The Valplast clasps still provide excellent esthetics. Click here to enlarge image

strength of more than 855 Mpa to enhance fracture resistance, Vitallium 2000 has a Vickers hardness that minimizes abrasion on Fig. 3When the all-Valplast partial opposing dentition, and a yield strength of more than 600 Mpa aids is in place it is very difficult to see in resisting permanent deformation. the clasps around the abutment teeth. A picture like this one can go The combination of Valplast and Vitallium maximizes the physical a long way towards getting case properties of the partial and makes it acceptance for a partial like this. Click here to enlarge image

a great choice for extended edentulous areas, especially in the lower arch. One of the attractive aspects of Valplast partials is that they can be constructed from two good impressions and an accurate bite relationship, along with the desired shade. A good alginate impression (Accudent, IvoclarVivadent) is the ideal impression material for most Valplast cases, however polyvinyl siloxane and polyether impressions are also acceptable. As with nearly all impression techniques, use of a custom tray is highly desirable. For most people wearing partials for the first time, there is no better partial denture available than Valplast. My experience over the last 15 years has been that the patient "learning curve" for adaptation to a new partial denture is much quicker for a Valplast than traditional metal-based partials. The esthetic nature of a Valplast partial, especially when viewed adjacent to a traditional metal partial, also helps to gain the patient's acceptance of the restoration, and ultimately, their satisfaction with our dentistry.

Fig. 4When the Valplast/Vitallium 2000 partial is inserted the anterior Valplast is still practically invisible while the posterior cast clasp is much more apparent. When replacing several teeth with Valplast a cast metal substructure gives additional strength even if Valplast clasps are used. Click here to enlarge image

Dr. Michael DiTolla is director of clinical research and education at Glidewell Labs in Newport Beach, Calif., where he also teaches over-the-shoulder courses on topics such as esthetic restorative dentistry. Dr. DiTolla also teaches a two-day, live-patient, hands-on laser-training course that emphasizes diode and erbium lasers. In addition, he teaches a two-day, hands-on digital photography course emphasizing intraoral and portrait photography, and image manipulation. More information on these and other courses can be found by email at mcditolla@mac.com or by calling (888) 535-1289.

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Partial Dentures or Valplast Dentures in Houston


Anyone considering having partial dentures in Houston may want to look at valplastdentures. These are partial dentures that are quite different from regular acrylic dentures both aesthetically and in their construction. Valplast partial dentures are made from a thin flexible and unbreakable nylon resin, and in fact the material is somewhat similar to that used to construct traffic cones, which are as anyone who has ever driven over one knows, virtually indestructible. Valplast dentures have a lifetime warranty against fractures and breakage of the denture material, although this doesnt cover the teeth. This type of denture is tried and tested as it has been around for more than five decades.

Valplast denture flexible partial made from nylon

The beauty of this denture is that its flexibility allows it to adapt to the constant movement within the mouth, which allows for greater ease in eating and talking which in turn gives patients far more confidence. It is also far less obtrusive than ordinary partial dentures as it is designed to blend in with the mouth, and it doesnt need to use metal clasps to keep it in place. These factors give it a much higher aesthetic value and many people forget they are wearing them because they are much thinner and more comfortable than ordinary dentures. Valplast is highly translucent which makes the partial almost invisible in the mouth. The material used is quite stain resistant and doesnt easily absorb odor.
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