new removable partial denture materialI am sure that at least one time in every dentist’s career they had to struggle with an improper fit and consequent patient discomfort of a removable partial denture (RPD). It can happen often enough to make one start referring those cases out or for patients to find another dentist they believe can make them more comfortable.

The good news is that we have had a dental materials shift away from the prototypical vitallium/acrylic where fitting the metal framework can be challenging.  

The material I recommend is called iFlex by tcs. It is a biocompatible thermoplastic material. It is durable and lightweight in addition to being comfortable, break resistant and ideal for patients allergic to acrylic. It is more natural in color and translucence than traditional materials as well as easier for the lab technicians to work with.

The biggest advantages of this material are fit and esthetics. Clasps and even rests can be designed into the framework and won't break (an eventual side effect of cast or wrought wire design). Patients love the fact that it is not bulky and feels thin and unobtrusive.

It is warmed in hot water one minute before seating and adapts easily to the tissues. When it cools to body temperature, it has a comfortable retentive fit.

There are only two potential problems I have found working with this material. The first problem is clinical. For those patients with knife-edge ridges and thin tissue, it can feel too tight and the borders of the appliance press in too hard on unforgiving thin tissue. Since the appliance is thin to begin with you don't have much material on the intaglio surface to start relieving.

The second problem deals with the laboratory, and it is in the adjusting and polishing. We are programmed to relieve acrylic with pressure and speed but this material will not respond with the heat generated from the pressure. You have to use short light strokes, which may require a little practice. Acrylic dust can be blown off, but the edges of the iFlex have to be polished with pumice and rag wheel and finished with its own polish on a chamois and with slow speed.

Even with those potential problems, I will seldom return to fabricating a RPD in the conventional metal/acrylic as the post op adjustments are less, and immediate patient comfort is high. I recommend you give this material a try on your next case.

(Click this link for more dentistry articles by Dr. Mary Anne Salcetti.)

Mary Anne Salcetti, DDS, PC, Spear Education Visiting Faculty. [  


Commenter's Profile Image Rex Baumgartner
September 10th, 2013
with no rest seats do you have a problem with the attached tissue absorbing all the occusal forces and becoming eschemic ?
Commenter's Profile Image Jerry Rinehart
September 11th, 2013
I have completed three nylon-type partials (Bayflex Brand) and liked the results. We were able to have flexible clear or pink clasps which are more esthetic. They are less bulky. I say the biggest down-side to this material is that it's not repairable and the issue with adjustment being so thin. I made an upper hybrid Bayflex that had a metal mesh reinforcement. And a lower that had a Vitallium bar major connector. I wonder the long-term success vs traditional. I found all the concerns readily managed on the three I did but be very careful to nail the wax try-in!!
Commenter's Profile Image Lilian Shulkin
September 13th, 2013
After modeling very careful it fits like a clove, it took some time though. I must say I am very handy with tools. It looks great, eats well. But, there is one but, It is abrasive to my tongue and cheek (inside skin). Specially when I eat fruits, raw vegetables, and fresh fruit juices, mostly acids. Some parts I a little rougher and I can not get it smooth. I wish they could make it with a smoother finish.
Commenter's Profile Image Scott Mayshaw
September 18th, 2013
I’d like to share some information wth you about our Flexible Partial Denture Material “DuraFlex” it is easily repairable. Visit our website at We also have our Hot Shot Elite that you can use for repairs or to fabricate Clear, Tooth Colored in all the Vita shades, 3 Bleach shade and 2 Tissue shades Clasps. Send me your e-mail address and I’ll send you several webinars that you can view the various techniques.
Commenter's Profile Image Danielle Risdon
August 27th, 2014
Just received my new partial and after a few hours had awful sores on tongue and cheek. Has anyone ever been allergic to the substance used in the partial?
Commenter's Profile Image Demetris Koliandris
October 23rd, 2014
Dear hi i start flexiple partials dentures and i want,,and 1rts hou is the best material for partials acetal.2on for dentures compleet ,3rt for partials dentures and 4.hou is good kit for repair flexiple dentures. Thank you,
Commenter's Profile Image Sonya Bell
December 23rd, 2014
Just reading this bit of information and I am currently awaiting my flexible partial, and very excited. I have a standard partial now and almost never wear it because food particles accumulate so much that it loosens the partial. I ended up loosing another tooth due to the load put on it from not wearing the normal partial, now I am going with this option and am very hopeful. However, I have been trying to locate any information from patients that do have this flexible material to find out how much if any food accumulation they experience. Trust that I am realistic in believing that some particles will get in between, but would like to know from users if it is a big decrease. I am thinking that since it is promoted to be well fitted to your mouth that food particles should be minimal to non-existent. Would appreciate a comment on this if possible.