When it comes to removable dentures, you want something that fits and functions and looks great for your patient. How you get those qualities, however, depends on the materials you choose. For many cases, particularly those requiring removable partial dentures (RPDs), flexible materials can give you all three.
Flexible partial denture materials are an excellent option for many partially edentulous patients.
Flexible RPD denture materials are not made of acrylic like traditional metal-cast RPDs. Instead, they use a thin thermoplastic, like nylon. The nylon-based materials were first introduced in the 1950s by Valplast and have been an option for partial dentures ever since, particularly for patients allergic to acrylics.
Flexible dentures are thinner than acrylics. Their physical properties make them durable.1Flexible denture materials provide many benefits as well. They are acknowledged as the most biocompatible material for removable dentures. Also, flexible materials do not contain BPA and resist absorbing odors or stains.
While you can make a full or complete denture out of them, most often the flexible material is used for RPDs. Usually, a full denture is made from flexible material only when the patient is allergic to acrylics.
Patients that love flexible partials feel that way because there’s no metal. They think that it is more comfortable once it is well adjusted.
from the patient’s standpoint, flexible dentures are both cosmetic and comfortable. Cosmetic, because they do not display a metal clasp, and comfortable because they are lightweight, and there is neither a metallic taste nor a rigid, bulky appliance in the mouth.
Flexible dentures are beneficial because studies show flexible materials are less destructive than a chrome-based appliance on the natural structures of the mouth. It is thought that the most significant factor in resistance or reluctance to using flexible materials with an RPD is unfamiliarity with the material.
Flexible materials, like nylon, inherently have stress breaking function, making them friendlier and more forgiving to the teeth and tissues under normal use without requiring a complicated design.