16:30 Central European Time
Prof. Vygandas Rutkunas, ΕPA President
Due to successful preventive procedures and the predictable use of osseointegrated implants the need for removable partial dentures (RPD) has reduced. However, for a variety of reasons, many patients can continue to benefit from RPD therapy, and these patients deserve the best functional and esthetic results possible. This is especially true when many patients present with large edentulous areas, too few remaining abutment teeth and an unfavorable distribution to provide proper retention, support and esthetics for a conventional RPD. This presentation describes the evolution of conventional RPD design and execution in the era of implants and digital technologies development, although maintaining the basic principles and fundamentals of RPDs. The clinical strategy that will be described, serves to eliminate the display of the clasp assembly and provide an improved esthetic and functional implants-teeth removable prosthesis by the use of a limited number of strategically placed dental implants. With this approach, additional retention is achieved, the need for unesthetic buccal retentive arm-clasps is avoided at the esthetic zone and overload of the remaining natural dentition is prevented. The use of dental implants to improve unfavorable removable partial denture (RPD) design, with no rigid connection between implants and teeth and as few as possible prosthetic elements requirement, is a viable solution for these patients. The biomechanical rationale for the use of different prosthetic elements such as telescopes, bars, balls and precision attachments will be explained. The lecture will integrate scientific data available through a few longitudinal (over 15 years follow-up) studies conducted on this subject by the lecturer and other authors, with clinical observations in a variety of cases that will be critically analized and discussed.