FORCES ACTING ON REMOVABLE PARTIAL DENTURES

The Supporting structures for removable partial are structurally
adapted to receive and absorb forces within their physiological
tolerance.
The ability of these structures to tolerate forces is largely
dependent upon the magnitude, the duration and the direction of these
forces in addition to the frequency of force application.
The magnitude of forces acting on partial dentures depends on
age and sex of the patient, the power of the muscles of mastication and
the type of opposing occlusion.
Natural teeth are better able to tolerate vertical forces acting on
them. This is because more periodontal fibers are activated to resist the
application of vertical forces (Fig.11-1: 11-3).
On the other hand, lateral forces are potentially destructive to
both teeth and bone. Lateral forces should be minimized in order to be
within the physiologic tolerance of the supporting structures.
Forces accruing through a removable restoration can be widely
distributed, directed, and minimized by the selection, the design, and
the location of components of removable partial dentures and by
developing a harmonious occlusion.
Two distinctly different types of removable partial denture exist،

either:
1 -Distal extension partial dentures that derive their support
from the tissues underlying the base and limited support from
the abutment teeth or

2-Bounded partial dentures that derive their support from the

11-5:11-7) a b Fig. All partial dentures must be supported and retained against reasonable dislodging forces in addition to accomplish the objective of maintaining and preserving the health of the supporting structures. Mechanical advantages is in favor to lever arm. Using Aker clasp in free end saddle cases causes a cantilever action on the abutment tooth. second. Classification is based on location of fulcrum F (support). when force is directed against unsupported end of beam cantilever can act as first class lever. and direction of Effort P. The removable partial denture should be designed to avoid or to minimize the destructive potential of lever action or cantilever design on the abutment teeth (Fig. and third classes. This could be realized by applying simple mechanical principles of leverages to the design.4).abutment teeth at each end of the edentulous space. when force is directed against unsupported end of beam cantilever can act as first class lever. 11-4: It is a beam supported only at one end. A cantilever: It is a beam supported only at one end.11. . There are three classes of levers: first. (Fig. resistance W. Levers: A lever is a rigid bar supported somewhere along its length.

Tissue-ward movements II. Possible movements of the partial denture: At least four possible movements of the partial dentures exist.a) Class I – Fulcrum between force and weight – Seesaw or head movement b) Class II – Weight is between fulcrum and pull – Wheelbarrow. They do not occur singularly or independently، but tend to be dynamic and all occur at the same time. IV.Rotational movements .Tissue-away movements III. standing on toes c) Class III – Pull located between fulcrum and weight – Person using a shovel – Most common Application of lever action on partial denture design.Horizontal movements: A) Lateral movements B) Antero-posterior movements. I.

Rotational movements are due to the variation in compressibility of supporting structures. 1-Rotation Rotation of the anterior anterior and posterior extension denture base around coronal (transverse) fulcrum axis: A) Rotation of the denture base towards the ridge around the fulcrum axis joining the two main occlusal rests: B) Rotation of the denture base away from the ridge around the fulcrum axis joining the retentive tips of the clasps. 2-Rotation Rotation of all bases around a longitudinal axis parallel to the crest of the residual ridge (Buccolingual or labiolingual). and /or absence of occlusal rests or clasps at any end of the bases. 3-Rotation Rotation about an imaginary perpendicular axis. absence of distal abutment at one end or more ends of denture bases. or is the long axis of abutment tooth in class II partial denture. A B . this axis either near the center of the dental arch in class I.

“Vertical forces acting in gingival direction tending to move the denture towards the tissues” (Fig. They occur during mastication. Examples of lever like designs. as well as suggestions for alternative potential.11-9: a. to avoid or to minimize their destructive potential. I.Tissue-ward movements Tissue-ward forces are. This function is mainly provided by: a) Properly designed supporting rests placed in rest seats. 11-8: Fencepost is more readily removed by application of force near its top than by applying same force nearer ground level Fig. This function of the partial denture is called “Support”. The partial denture should be designed to resist this movement by providing adequate supporting components.abutment has been contoured to allow rather favorable location of retentive and reciprocal arms. which are prepared on the abutment teeth. Biting forces falling on artificial teeth are transmitted to the soft tissues and bone underlying the denture base. 11-12).Fig. swallowing and aimless tooth contact. b) Broad accurately fitting denture bases in distal extension . Support is “the function of partial denture which prevents movement of the denture towards the tissues”. b.Retentive and reciprocal arms are located much nearer to occlusal surface than they should be.

Tissue-away forces occur due to: The action of muscles acting along the periphery of the denture. "Vertical forces acting in an occlusal direction tending to displace and lift the denture from its position” (Fig.11-15). b) Attachments. Therefore. (Fig.partial dentures. 11-12). Retention in partial dentures is mainly provided by: a) The action of mechanical direct retainers.b).11-13 a. Retention is “The function of partial denture which prevents the denture from being displaced in an occlusal direction (away from the tissues)". which engage undercuts on abutment teeth (Fig 11-13). c) Rigid major connectors that are neither relieved from the tissues nor placed on inclined planes also provide support. . the entire available ridge posterior to the abutment teeth must be covered with the denture (Fig. II.11-14). (Fig.  Gravity acting on upper dentures or by  Sticky food adhering to the artificial teeth or to the denture base.Tissue-away movements Tissue-away dislodging forces are.

cheek and tongue). In order to retain the denture the anticipated intensity of occlusally displacing force exerted during function should be less than the force required for retaining the denture. Lateral movements have a destructive effect on teeth leading to tilting. 3) Horizontal movements: A) Lateral movements Lateral forces are “Horizontal forces developed when the mandible moves from side to side during function while the teeth are in contact”. The application of lateral forces causes areas of compression of the periodontal membrane. d) The retaining action of physiologic forces on polished surfaces of denture bases (action of lips.c) The retaining action of physical forces on fitting surfaces of denture bases as adhesion. which leads to bone resorption. Partial dentures should be designed to prevent the deleterious effects of lateral forces by using stabilizing or bracing components.11-15 A: H) Bracing is "The function of partial denture which resists lateral movement of the appliance". (Fig. Stabilizing components are "Rigid components of the partial denture that assist in resisting horizontal movement of the . cohesion and interfacial surface tension. Hence lateral forces play a major role in bone resorption. breakdown of the periodontal ligament and looseness of abutment teeth.

B) Antero-posterior movements Antero-posterior forces are "Horizontal forces which occur during forward and-backward movement of the mandible while the teeth are in contact". 2. This may result in movement of the denture.denture". Minor connectors in contact with axial (vertical) surfaces of abutment teeth. Providing balanced occlusal contacts free of lateral interference. Anterior natural teeth. Proximal plates. 3. . Adequate extension of the flanges of the denture helps to stabilize the prosthesis against horizontal forces. They help in distributing lateral stresses to all supporting teeth: 1. The removable partial denture being anchored to both sides of one arch and joined by a rigid major connector can provide cross arch stabilization to forces acting in bucco-lingual direction. There is natural tendency for the upper denture to move forward and for the lower to move backward. 4. Bracing clasp arms placed at or above the survey line of the tooth. 2. Forward movement of the upper denture could be resisted by: 1. The magnitude of lateral forces could also be minimized by: 1. Reducing cusp angles of artificial teeth.

11-1). Palatal slope. The backward movement of the lower denture could be resisted by: 1. VI. . the abutment teeth on both sides of the edentulous area provide adequate support and resistance to rotational forces through supporting rests and clasps placed on them. 3. 4. In distal extension partial denture when vertical forces are applied the difference in displaceability of the supporting structures often results in rotation of the partial denture around a fulcrum axis and application of torque on abutment teeth ( Fig. teeth and the residual ridge.Rotational movements: Rotational forces are “Forces acting on the partial denture either in vertical or horizontal direction causing rotation (torque) of the denture base around an axis. The slope of the retromolar pad. 3. Proximal plates. The natural teeth bounding the edentulous space. Maxillary tuberosity. 2.2. In tooth supported removable partial dentures. The natural teeth bounding the saddle area. Rotational movements must be counteracted in the partial denture design to minimize their destructive effect on both.

II.Rotation of the denture base around the fulcrum axis (Torque). More than one fulcrum lines may identified for the same removable partial denture depending on the direction and location for force application.Rotation about a longitudinal axis formed by the crest of the residual ridge (Tipping movement). III-Rotation about an imaginary perpendicular axis near the center of the dental arch (Fish tail movement). I-Rotation of the denture base around fulcrum axis joining the principal abutments: Movement of the component parts of the denture lying on the opposite side of the fulcrum axis occur in a direction opposite to that of the applied force. This leads to rotation of the denture: The fulcrum axis is an “imaginary line passing through teeth and component parts of the partial denture around which the distal extension partial denture rotates when a vertical force is applied”. (a) Rotation of the denture base towards the ridge: This movement results from occlusal stresses occurring .Rotational forces acting on distal extension partial denture may result in three possible rotational movements these are I.

(B) Rotation of the denture base away from the ridge. 3. Accurate and properly extended bases.11-16) Tissue ward movement of the base could be limited by supporting structures. 2. which are: 1.11-17).during mastication and occlusion of teeth. gravity on upper dentures and the elastic rebound of soft tissues covering the edentulous areas (Fig.Indirect Retainers: which are the components of partial denture located on the side of the fulcrum axis opposite to . Artificial teeth set on the anterior two third of the base Flexible clasps are preferred over rigid clasping to reduce stresses and torque applied on abutments. This movement occurs due to the pulling effect of forces applied by sticky food. If the clasps are rigid. The free extension denture base moves tissue-ward while other components on the opposite side of the fulcrum line moves away from the tissues. This result in rotation of the denture about a diagonal supportive fulcrum line joining two occlusal rests on the most posterior abutments on either side of the dental arch (Fig. the abutments tend to rotate distally during tissue ward movement of the denture base resulting in periodontal breakdown and looseness of teeth. Tissue-away rotation of denture base is counteracted by: 1. Supportive form of the residual ridge.

Effect of gravity on mandibular bases.The effect of rigid major connectors. II-Rotation around a longitudinal axis formed by the crest of the residual ridge (Tipping movement) (Figs. 2.Narrow teeth bucco-lingually. 2.The retentive tip of the clasp arm.Adequate coverage and extension of the base (direct indirect retention ) 4. It causes twisting of the denture base. . 4.the distal extension base.Broad base coverage. This movement is counteracted by: 1.11-18). 3. 3.Proper placement of artificial teeth (teeth on the ridge or lingualized occlusion). This rotation occurs due to application of vertical forces on one side of the arch only.Cross arch stabilization (The action of clasps on the opposite side of the arch). 5.

lingual to anterior teeth.Fig.11-18: Vertical tissue-ward ward force applied to one side.11-19 A and B: Vertical fulcrum located near the center of the dental arch. causes rotation around longitudinal axis formed by crest of ridge. A Direction of movement B Fig. .

3.Balanced contact between upper and lower teeth. It results due to the application of masticatory forces falling on distal extension bases causing buccolingual movement of the base.Broad base coverage.A rigid major connector. 4.III. This rotation is called fishtail movement (Fig. This movement is counteracted by: 1. (Fig. . 2.Rotation around an imaginary perpendicular axis near the center of the dental arch. 11-20 a. 11-19 a. Application of horizontal or off-vertical force results in rotation around an imaginary vertical axis located either about the axis of abutment in class II or near the center of the dental arch.b).Providing adequate bracing components in the partial denture. lingual to anterior teeth in class I.b).