J Korean Acad Prosthodont.  2009 Apr;47(2):206-214. 10.4047/jkap.2009.47.2.206.

Photoelastic stress analysis of the mandibular unilateral free-end removable partial dentures according to the design

  • 1Department of Prosthodontics, College of Dentistry, Chosun University, Korea. proscwpark@naver.com


STATEMENT OF PROBLEM: There are common clinical cases in which the mandibular first and second molars are missing unilaterally. PURPOSE: This study was designed to compare and evaluate the magnitude and distribution of stress produced by four kinds of mandibular unilateral free-end removable partial dentures that could be applied clinically in Kennedy class II cases. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Four unilateral free-end removable partial dentures using clasp, Konus crown, resilient attachment, and flexible resin were fabricated on the photoelastic models of the Kennedy class II cases. The vertical load of 6kg was applied on the central fossa of the first molar of every removable partial denture in the stress freezing furnace and the photoelastic models were frozen according to the stress freezing cycle. After these models were sliced mesio-distally to a thickness of 6mm, the photoelastic isochromatic white and black lines of the sliced specimens were examined with the transparent photoelastic experiment device and photographs were taken with a digital camera. The fringe order numbers at eight measuring points in the photograph were measured with the naked eye. RESULTS: The maximum fringe order number of each sliced specimen and the fringe order number at the residual ridge just below the loading point were in the decreasing order of the unilateral removable partial dentures using flexible resin followed by clasp, resilient attachment, and Konus crown. The fringe order number at the root apex of the second premolar was in the decreasing order of the unilateral removable partial dentures using clasp followed by flexible resin, Konus crown, and resilient attachment. CONCLUSION: The removable partial denture using Konus crown showed the most equalized stress distribution to the supporting alveolar bone of abutment teeth and residual ridge under the vertical loads. The removable partial denture using flexible resin can be applied to the case that has a better state of residual ridge than abutment teeth.


unilateral removable partial denture; stress distribution; three-dimensional photoelastic analysis

MeSH Terms

Denture, Partial, Removable


  • Fig. 1. Wax model with the duplicated resin teeth.

  • Fig. 2. Duplicated resin teeth with the simulated periodontal ligament.

  • Fig. 3. Photoelastic model with the duplicated resin teeth.

  • Fig. 4. Unilateral free-end removable partial dentures on the photoelastic model. A: Partial denture using the clasp (C-URPD), B: Partial denture using the Konus crown (K-URPD), C: Partial denture using the resilient attachment (ReA-URPD), D: Partial denture using the flexible resin (F-URPD)

  • Fig. 5. Loading device located in the stress freezing furnace.

  • Fig. 6. Transparent photoelastic experiment device.

  • Fig. 7. Measuring points of the fringe order number in the sliced specimen. A: Central fossa just below the 2nd molar artificial tooth, B: Central fossa just below the 1st molar artificial tooth (loading point), C: Distal side (middle) of the root of the 2nd premolar, D: Root apex of the 2nd premolar, E: Mesial side (middle) of the root of the 2nd premolar, F: Distal side (middle) of the root of the 1st premolar, G: Root apex of the 1st premolar, H: Mesial side (middle) of the root of the 1st premolar

  • Fig. 8. Line diagram of the fringe order number at each measuring point in the 4 sliced specimens.

  • Fig. 9. Photoelastic isochromatic white & black fringe pattern of the sliced specimens produced by the unilateral free-end removable partial dentures under the vertical loading. A: C-URPD, B: K-URPD, C: ReA-URPD, D: F-URPD.


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