You are on page 1of 3

The hinged-clasp assembly removable partial denture

S t e p h e n D. C a m p b e l l , D.D.S, M.M.Sc.,* and H a r v e y W e e n e r , D.D.S.**

Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Boston, Mass.

Severe undercuts and malpositioning of teeth can create problems with the path of
insertion of removable partial dentures. Prostheses that have conventional clasp
designs are not well-suited for these situations because a common path of place-
ment must exist for all clasps. A technique that incorporates a hinged-clasp
assembly to overcome this problem is described. (J PROSTHETDENT 1990;63:59-61.)

W h e n abutment teeth for a removable partial create problems with the path of placement of a removable
denture are elongated as a result of loss of surrounding tis- partial denture. When severe, they preclude the use of
sues, severe undercuts are often present. These undercuts, conventional clasp assemblies because the cross-arch un-
along with facial tipping and malpositioning of teeth, can dercuts of the teeth are not compatible with a single path
of placement.
A possible solution to this problem is to place crowns on
*Assistant Professor of Prosthetic Dentistry, Director Postdoc-
toral Prosthodontics. the abutment teeth and construct a precision removable
**Faculty member. prosthesis that has intracoronal or extracoronal retainers.
10/1/15462 This eliminates the need to engage the severe undercuts.

, ii ~

!i H

~,~ ~ , ..... ::
if ....

Fig. 1. Hinged-clasp assembly removable partial denture (Oddo Hinge type).

Fig. 2. Retentive-clasp assembly (Oddo Hinge type).
Fig. 3. Opened retentive-clasp assembly.



:~/i:ii i:~::s

~ ~ :, I : : ~ii~'i"

"~;7 i i

.... :~:i!:i~:I :

: ; : : i

~ : i ::~ i::i~::

Fig. 4. Closed retentive-clasp assembly.

Fig. 5. Patient's smile reveals part of wrought wire clasp arm on right canine but not
hinged-clasp assembly on left canine.
Fig. 6. Same patient showing different character of HCA and conventional clasp arm.
HCA engages most severe undercut and thereby avoids showing clasp arm.
Fig. 7. HCA retentive arm bypasses contact with compromised first premolar.

However, this is not suitable if the supporting teeth have arm (RPI design or conventional), and (5) the guiding
a questionable long-term prognosis. A removable partial plane (conventional).
denture with a rotational path of insertion can also be
used, 1 thus avoiding the cost of the crowns necessary for a Retentive-clasp assembly
precision prosthesis. However, contingency planning is The retentive clasp assembly has the following compo-
limited since a rotational-path removable partial denture nents (Fig. 2):
relies on the teeth adjacent to the edentulous ridge for its The hinge. The hinge is prefabricated and allows the
support. An alternative design is the hinged-clasp assem- retentive-clasp arm to rotate. There are three types; the D.
bly (HCA) removable partial denture (Fig. 1). This is an E. Hinge (Attachments International, San Mateo, Calif.),
adaptation of the classic swinglock design 2 and was first the Nobil Latch (Nobilium Industries, Albany, N.Y.), and
introduced by Oddo. 13 the Oddo Hinge (Ticonium Co. Albany, N.Y.).
Retentive-clasp arm. This extends from the hinge to
HINGED-CLASP A S S E M B L Y the retentive end of the arm. The clasp armis rigid and acts
COMPONENTS as a minor connector. A Hader (Hadax, La Chaux DeFond,
The hinged-clasp assembly consists of (1) the retentive- Switzerland) bar is frequently used for this purpose.
clasp assembly, (2) the retentive-clasp end--a bar type Latch.The latch locks the retentive-clasp arm in place
(I-bar), (3) the rest seat (conventional), (4) the reciprocal so that it will not rotate once it is positioned. This may be



either a prefabricated part of the hinge (Oddo Hinge) or a 7. A bar-type retentive arm can be used where soft tis-
replaceable H a d e r bar nylon clip. sue undercuts would otherwise preclude it for a conven-
tional prosthesis.
M E T H O D S OF C O N S T R U C T I N G THE 8. Use of a nylon H a d e r clip with the D.E. Hinge HCA
HINGED-CLASP ASSEMBLY results in no metal-to-metal contact of the locking compo-
The HCA is constructed by one of two methods. In the nents of the latch. The nylon H a d e r clip is easily replaced
first method an HCA incorporating an Oddo Hinge and and little wear occurs on the metal.
Latch apparatus is assembled and attached to the R P D
frame with acrylic resin. The locking mechanism of the DISADVANTAGES AND
latch results in metal-to-metal contact between the pins on CONTRAINDICATIONS
the retentive arm and grooves in the latch housing. 1. The HCA R P D cannot be used when there is insuffi-
In the second method, an HCA using a D.E. Hinge or cient vestibular space.
Nobil Latch a p p a r a t u s has the hinge and clasp arm cast to 2. The facial retentive assemblies may have a little
the R P D frame. The latch for the clasp arm is constructed movement if not properly constructed.
separately and consists of a metal housing t h a t will accept 3. Poor manual dexterity on the p a r t of the patient is a
a nylon Hader clip for locking the clasp arm in place. contraindication.
During the try-in, the clasp assembly is positioned in the 4. Increased maintenance of the assembly is required.
wax. The clinical aspects are similar to conventional This is particularly true of the Oddo Hinge apparatus,
removable partial dentures. The p r i m a r y difference is t h a t which has metal-to-metal contact of the locking compo-
during insertion, the retentive clasp assembly is opened nents during opening and closing of the retentive arm. This
and the prosthesis is positioned (Fig. 3). Once properly contact results in increased wear of the metal and a need
seated, the assembly is closed and locked into place (Fig. for more frequent adjustments.
4). T h e tightness of the retentive arm can be adjusted in the
prefabricated assemblies. SUMMARY
The hinged-clasp assembly is an alternative to conven-
tional clasp designs for removable partial dentures. The
1. Stress on the a b u t m e n t teeth is minimized during in- HCA was described and its advantages and disadvantages
sertion. The height of contour is not engaged by the reten- were discussed. The primary indication for its use is the
tive arm during insertion of the prosthesis. The role of the patient with a compromised prognosis that has an associ-
reciprocal arm is, therefore, no longer i m p o r t a n t in bracing ated problem with the p a t h of insertion. Such patients are
a tooth during placement of the prosthesis. This results in well suited for a hinged-clasp assembly removable partial
a passive clasp assembly. Reciprocation is required, how- denture.
ever, to maintain support and retention once the clasp arm
is closed.
We express our gratitude to Mr. Ara Dickerman of Myron Dick-
2. Esthetics are improved by allowing the facial reten- erman Laboratory, Sharon, Mass.
tive arm to be placed as far gingivally as the soft tissues
permit, regardless of the severity of the undercut in the REFERENCES
tooth structure (Figs. 5 and 6). 1. Firtell DN, Jacobson TE. Removablepartial dentures with rotational
3. Modification of existing tooth structure is minimized. paths of insertion: problem analysis.J PROSTHETDENT1983;50:8-15.
2. Antos EW, Renner RP, Foerth D. The swing-lockpartial denture: an
4. P a t h of insertioll problems are overcome. Each clasp alternative approachto conventionalremovablepartial denture service.
assembly can be treated separately and hence a common J PROSTHETDENT1978;40:257-62.
path of insertion is not necessary. 3. Oddo VJ. The movable-armclasp for completepassivityin partial den-
ture construction.J Am Dent Assoc1967;74:1009-15.
5. Contingency planning in the design of the removable
partial denture becomes more flexible when teeth of ques- Reprint requests to:
tionable prognosis are involved. Teeth other t h a n the ones DR. STEPHEN D. CAMPBELL
adjacent to the edentulous ridges can be used (Fig. 7). 188 LONGWOODAVE.
6. Deepest tooth undercut can be engaged. BOSTON, MA 02115