Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Aim: This study was designed to investigate patterns of tooth loss in patients receiving removable partial dentures.
Materials and Method: A point and shoot digital camera was used to collect 1502 digital images of cases at 5 dental laboratories in the eastern portion of the state of Wisconsin. Any case presenting to one the dental laboratories requesting a RPD was included. Two photographs were taken of each case. The first photograph was taken immediately upon arrival to the lab while the second photograph was taken immediately prior its first departure. A calibrated investigator analyzed all the photographs for Kennedy classification, type of RPD, major connectors, and other details
Results: Kennedy class I was the most commonly constructed RPDs at a frequency of 41%. In the maxilla, class III RPDs were the most frequently fabricated while class I remained the most common RPD in the mandible. 73% of the RPDs used metal frameworks, while the remaining 27% of RPDs used acrylic or flexible frameworks. The horseshoe major connector was the most common maxillary major connector while in the mandible it was the lingual plate.
Conclusions: Kennedy class I RPDs are still the most common mandibular RPD. However, the class III RPD is the most common maxillary RPD. 27% of all RPDs in this region utilized simple non-metallic frameworks which rarely met established design criteria. These numbers indicate a varying quality level of prosthodontic procedures provided in this region.