Fixed partial dentures are prosthesis which are fixed to the existing natural teeth or Dental Implants to replace missing teeth in the Maxillary or Mandibular regions. There are multiple advantages of having a fixed partial denture apart from the obvious appearance and functional aspects. The other advantages of getting a Fixed partial denture is regaining Speech, improve self confidence by replacing the missing teeth, improve overall health as patient can chew properly and eat solid foods, helps in preventing supra eruption of teeth on the opposing arch, prevent tilting of the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth. It helps in distribution of the occlusal forces.
Fixed partial Dentures are also called as Fixed Prosthesis or Fixed Prosthodontics.
Indications for Fixed Partial Dentures
One or multiple missing teeth with firm teeth on either side of the edentulous space
Healthy supportive tissues – Gingiva, PDL, Alveolar Bone, etc.
Supporting teeth or Abutment teeth are healthy and Stable to bear the forces of the prosthesis
Patient is capable of maintaining good oral hygiene of the prosthesis
Patient wants to replace missing teeth to help in Esthetics (Anterior or Front teeth) or Functioning (Chewing) missing posterior teeth
Contra – Indications of Fixed Partial Dentures:
Unfavorable Supporting teeth or Abutments – Mobile, High Caries damaged supported teeth.
Uncooperating patient – Psychological or Physical Disability preventing the patient from opening the mouth for the procedure to be performed
Damaged teeth at the Root level which prevents a proper Finish line – Shoulder, Chamfer, etc. Lack of a proper finish line will lead to failure of the Crown in the long term.
Periodontitis or Gingival Inflammation which prevents proper cleaning of soft tissue leading to plaque accumulation
Extremely tilted or angulated Abutments which cannot be used to attain straight line insertion
Age of the patient – too young (growth of the jaw is still left) or too old
Longer span of missing teeth which do not meet the Ante’s Law criteria
Unfavorable Abutment considerations – Crown to Root ratio, Supporting tissues, Periodontal ligament space, etc.
In cases where there are more torquing forces on the abutments
Pontic designs which have more Occluso Gingival dimension are contra indicated for FPD
Patient does not have good oral hygiene habits
Patient cannot afford a Fixed prosthesis
High Caries index – < 21
A Fixed Prosthesis or a Fixed Partial Denture can be life changing for many both in an Aesthetic manner and a Functional way, planning a FPD is vital in its longevity. Planning the treatment plays a vital role in determining how long the prosthesis might last.