Patient Satisfaction and Accuracy of Partial Denture Frameworks Fabricated using Conventional and Digital Techniques

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  • Elena Muehlemann
  • Nadin Al-Haj Husain
  • Mutlu Özcan


This case report compares a conventional and a digital workflow for manufacturing metal frameworks for maxillary and mandibular removable partial dentures (RPDs). Two sets of maxillary and mandible RPDs were produced. The metal framework of one set of RPDs was produced conventionally using the lost wax casting technique. Intraoralscanning and computer-aided designing (CAD) were used to fabricate the metal frameworks of the other set of RPDs using direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) technology. The accuracy of fit of the two sets of RPDs was evaluated after 3 months using replica models. Patient satisfaction was assessed. Two years later, the fit accuracy of the DMLS prosthesis and patient satisfaction were re-evaluated. The accuracy of fit in the maxillary RPD with the DLMS manufactured metal framework showed better results in all areas except areas of rests (457 vs. 421 µm) and the major connector (850 vs. 512
µm). The mandibular RPD with DLMS manufactured metal framework showed only in the areas of the reciprocal arm and major connector better fit accuracy compared to the conventional RPD. The patient satisfaction with the DLMS manufactured RPDs was rated equally to the conventional one. The use of digital technologies in manufacturing RPDs seems promising regarding accuracy and patient satisfaction.

Direct Metal Laser Sintering
Patient Satisfaction
Partial Denture
Dental Materials