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Valplast — The flexible partial

By Andy Alvarez and Bob Cullivan, Trident Dental Laboratories

Partially or fully edentulous patients comprise nearly half of the aging patient population, and
this age group is projected to triple by the year 2005. While the fabrication of dentures that
provide a secure fit and function is critical, maintaining a natural-looking appearance remains a
priority for today's esthetic-conscious patients. Since its introduction in the 1950s, Valplast has
been fulfilling the demands of both the clinician and the patient as a more attractive and fully
functional alternative to traditional metal partial dentures.
Valplast is a flexible base resin ideal for partial dentures or unilateral restorations. The
biocompatible nylon and thermoplastic resin of Valplast provide the perfect degree of flexibility
and stability when processed and finished to the recommended thickness. The color, shape,
and design of Valplast partials blend seamlessly with the natural appearance of the gingival
tissues, making the prosthetic virtually invisible. The strong, durable plastic snaps securely and
comfortably into place around the existing natural dentition and gingiva. The strength of the
nonallergenic plastic eliminates the metallic taste and enables the partial to be fabricated thinly
enough with nonmetal clasps to avoid the bulky feeling often encountered with ugly, bulky
traditional metal partials.

FastTrack Valplast
If you currently prescribe Valplast or are considering incorporating it into your restorative
treatments, the following key components will enable our technicians to fabricate your Valplast
case efficiently and accurately.

Patient evaluation
The Valplast fabrication process begins with a thorough evaluation of the patient's restorative
requirements. Both the clinician and the patient should actively discuss the treatment options
that will meet the patient's needs (fig.1).
We use a cast sub-frame to provide support to the material, especially on cases with large
edentulous areas. The frame is placed on the lingual with the facial clasps set into the Valplast
material for added esthetics (fig. 2).
For best results, allow adequate occlusal clearance. Unlike traditional acrylic partials that utilize
a chemical bond between the teeth and the base, Valplast relies on mechanical retention. If
there is not enough room to place retention holes in the teeth, they can become displaced (fig.

Fig. 1 – Valplast partial denture

Fig. 2 – Valplast with Vitallium® subframe

Fig. 3 – Good occlusal clearance

There is little or no tooth preparation needed to fabricate a Valplast partial. Our laboratory
requires an upper and lower impression (or models and bite registration or bite blocks) along
with the desired shade. Alginate is the ideal impression material for most Valplast cases (fig. 4).
However, polyvinyl siloxane (PVS) also is acceptable.
With this exact replica, a counter model, and a proper bite registration, technicians can focus
on the survey and design for clasp positioning. This procedure also highlights the patient's
existing undercuts and soft-tissue ridge condition for proper block-out.
Choose an adequate impression tray (Border-Lock®) or a custom tray that is rigid. Our
technicians can fabricate a custom tray, which fits the individual patient's mouth. Clinicians
should be advised that this additional step will require several patient visits (fig. 5).

Fig. 4 – Alginate impression

Fig. 5 – Border Lock tray by Accu-liner Products

Wax bite
Trident Dental Laboratories can provide a standard wax bite rim to facilitate the bite
registration, or clinicians may provide their own. For distal extension cases, a wax bite rim is
essential to the proper fabrication of the Valplast partial (figs. 6-7).
Figs. 6 & 7 – Upper and lower bite blocks

Shade selection
The desired shade selection and preferred teeth (e.g. Portrait IPN) should be noted on the
prescription form. Valplast partials are available in several basic shade categories including light
pink, medium pink, and meharry (ethnic), that blend seamlessly with the natural appearance of
the gingival tissues. Generally, acrylic teeth are used with the Valplast partial. However,
choosing Portrait IPN teeth will provide patients with superior dentures — superb for esthetics,
and they wear like natural teeth. Portrait IPN teeth have excellent mamelon development and
natural, lifelike contours. They are available in the 16 popular Vita® Classic colors as well as
enhanced Bioform® Base 8 shades (figs 8-9).

Fig. 8 – Portrait IPN shade guide by Dentsply Trubyte

Fig. 9 – Shade match using Portrait IPN shade guide

Wax setup/try-in
We prefer to do a wax setup/try-in to establish the correct bite and allow for custom
arrangements or adjustments to the teeth prior to processing. The wax setup/try-in stage is an
important step in the fabrication process and enables the clinician to double-check the shade
accuracy and the setup arrangement — midline, vertical dimension, and centric occlusion (figs.
10-11, see page 58).

Fig. 10 – Wax set-up/try-in of duplicate model, front view

Fig. 11 – Wax set-up / try-in of duplicate model, oblique view

Process stage
Upon receipt of your case in our laboratory, the technician will make any necessary minor
adjustments and proceed to the final processing stage (figs. 12-13).

Fig. 12 – Injection process stage

Fig. 13 – Polished Valplast after injection process

In-office adjustment and patient care

To reduce obstructions in the Valplast partial, adjustments may be performed in your office.
We recommend rubber wheels and rubber points. Rubber wheels will provide you with smooth
results, especially if adjusting the periphery edges. Rubber points are ideal for accessing
undercut areas. Do not use carbide burs because they have a melting effect on the Valplast
material. For minor chairside adjustments, a kit is available from Trident which includes Cratex
wheels, green and pink stones, buff wheels, and instructions.
Patients should clean their partial on a daily basis to remove any tartar or stains. Specially
formulated cleaning solutions are available from Trident to clean Valplast partials (figs. 14-15).
Fig. 14 – Val-Clean® and Valplast Adjustment Kit

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