Clinically backed solution for partially dentate patients


  Posted by: Dental Design      5th May 2020

There has been a general reduction in the use of metal and other potentially allergenic materials in dentistry. In 2018 we saw the introduction of a restriction in the use of amalgam and more and more dental care providers are working towards metal-free dentistry. Although a wide range of metallic alloys find application in many dental processes, health-conscious patients seem to be more attracted to biocompatible materials that stay clean and do not corrode, oxidise or attract bacteria. Certainly, a recent clinical trial revealed that the majority of patients prefer removable partial dentures (RPDs) that are constructed from a polymer-based material rather than chrome-cobalt.

Chrome-cobalt RPD frames provide retention, stability and strength and have been widely considered the most favourable material for a denture framework.[1] However, the disadvantages of metal RPDs include oral galvanism, adverse tissue reactions, osteolysis of abutment teeth and biofilm production.1 Metal frames also have the potential to cause hypersensitivity and gingival inflammation and there is evidence to suggest that some dentures can slowly torque the teeth out of the mouth leading to further tooth loss.[2] Indeed, complications are not uncommon – metal clasps can distort over time leading to poor fit and function and patients have reported issues with comfort. Metal frames can alter taste perception and patients are frequently dissatisfied with aesthetics when the clasps are visible to themselves or others.

The aim of course, is to provide patients with dentures that are discreet, effective and comfortable, which improve function and aesthetics and do not impact negatively on either the patient’s oral health or quality of life. Recognising the need for an innovative alternative to metal, Solvay Dental 360® has custom-developed a high-performance polymer called Ultaire® AKP specifically for the fabrication of RPDs. This material is taste free and biocompatible; it is significantly lighter than metal but has comparable strength and durability. Ultaire® AKP has been purposefully engineered to enhance the rigidity of the polymer to be supportive, protecting the abutment teeth and preserving gum tissue, but also to have some flexibility to improve patient comfort. Removable partial dentures fabricated with Ultaire® AKP can be designed digitally for outstanding accuracy along with specific clasp dimensions, which results in increased comfort, fit and aesthetics. Solvay Dental 360® is also pleased to announce that the results of the recent REFRAME clinical study demonstrated improvements across all oral health-related quality of life factors when patients exchanged their metal RPDs for an RPD constructed from Ultaire® AKP.[3]

The REFRAME study was the most extensive head-to-head trial on removable partial dentures that has been conducted to date. It was led by experts from the University of Leeds School of Dentistry and the University of Illinois at Chicago to evaluate the change in oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) of patients using an RPD made from Ultaire® AKP. At the start of the study, patients that were already using a chrome-cobalt removable partial denture were asked to complete an oral health related quality of life survey. As one of the principal investigators, Professor Brian Nattress explained: “This survey was not just to assess how their denture looked, fitted and functioned but was designed to cover the entire concept of their well-being and general health as a denture wearer.” Each individual was then provided with a new digitally designed RPD constructed from Ultaire® AKP and after 8 weeks use, the patients were then asked to complete the oral health-related quality of life survey again. The results were then analysed and it was concluded that RPDs constructed from Ultaire® AKP significantly improved the patients’ OHRQoL.3

As Professor Nattress said, “The study findings were remarkable.” Patients experienced improvements across all OHRQoL factors including their comfort when eating, speaking and engaging in social interaction, their self-esteem and their satisfaction in respect to their oral health. Furthermore, when given the option, 4 out of 5 patients chose to continue wearing the new polymer-based denture rather than reverting back to their original metal RPD as they were significantly more satisfied with their quality of life.3

This study highlights the previously unattainable level of comfort and performance that can be achieved with Ultaire® AKP. Now clinicians can confidently prescribe a solution for partially dentate patients that is supported by clinical data and proven to enhance their quality of life.


You can visit Solvay Dental 360® on stand J55 at the BDCDS 2020.
To book a Solvay Dental 360
® Professional Lunch and Learn or to find more information about Ultaire® AKP, please visit


[1] Campbell S.D. et al. Removable partial dentures: The clinical need for innovation. The Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry 118 (3) 273-280. [Accessed 11th March 2020]

[2] Dula L.J. et al. Clinical evaluation of removable partial dentures on the periodontal health of abutment teeth: A retrospective study. Open Dent J. 2015 Mar 31;9:132-9. [Accessed 11th March 2020]

[3] Solvay Dental 360® (2020) REFRAME RPD Post Market Clinical Study. ( Identifier NCT03198520) [Accessed 11th March 2020]

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