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A review of 243 errors possible during the fabrication of a removable partial denture: Part I
Robert W. Rudd, BS, DDS, MS, CDT,a and Kenneth D. Rudd, BS, DDSb Colorado Springs, Colo., and San Antonio, Texas
Everyone who participates in any step of the fabrication of a removable partial denture must share in the success or failure of the restoration. Some seemingly innocuous deviations can beaccumulative and cause serious problems, so everyone should review the procedures that they use on a regular basis. Parts I through III of this article present a personal and generic (but by no means comprehensive) list of errors that can occur when a removable partial denture is fabricated. Results that can be attributed to these errors are identified, and a possible solution for each error isdescribed. This information is useful to the entire dental team: the dentist, dental assistant, office manager, and dental technician. The articles also include 18 notes that may be beneficial to personnel in the office and/or in the laboratory. (J Prosthet Dent 2001;86:251-61.)

ood technique pays off. These words are not merely a motto to hang on the wall in the laboratory but words of wisdom.1Good technique demands that everyone involved give adequate attention to all details required for safe and efficient operations. This means that good dentistry depends on the integrity, knowledge, and skills possessed by the entire dental team, which includes the dentist, dental nurse, dental assistant, office manager, and dental technician. A great force working against good technique is the habitof taking shortcuts. Shortcuts are risky attempts to save time by modifying a proven procedure. A proven procedure is one that accomplishes an operation efficiently while reducing the possibility for errors to a minimum. A procedure that may be “accepted” or “approved” is not always a proven procedure. Increased chairtime required for adjusting misfit dentures, dissatisfaction and pain experiencedby patients, and remakes resulting from shortcut practices indicate that they rarely save time. One of Murphy’s Laws2 says that there is never enough time to do it correctly in the first place, but always plenty of time to do it over. It is a good idea for everyone involved in a dental practice to frequently review the procedures used. Many seemingly innocuous deviations can creep into one’stechnique without notice. These deviations can add up to serious problems. The results of many errors made during the fabrication of removable partial dentures (RPDs) may not be recognizable when they occur. This article, therefore, has 3 aims: (l) to advise personnel involved in the fabrication of RPDs of potential errors, (2) to call attention to results that can be attributed to these errors,aOwner


and (3) to identify steps that can be taken to avoid these errors. The errors are listed in the order that they would occur during the fabrication of an RPD.

Currently, irreversible hydrocolloid impression material (irreversible hydrocolloid) seems to be the material of choice for making RPD definitive impressions. It therefore is theimpression material referenced in this article. Errors for handling it are described. The advantages of irreversible hydrocolloid seem to outweigh the advantages of other impression materials; it has only a few disadvantages. The advantages of irreversible hydrocolloid compared with other impression materials include the following: First, the use of irreversible hydrocolloid does not requirespecialized equipment or customized trays; this is not the case with agar and other elastomeric materials. Satisfactory results can be obtained with the use of non–water-cooled stock metal trays modified by application of impression compound and cotton fibers.1 Second, the setting time of irreversible hydrocolloid is easy to control by adjusting the water temperature.1 Third, most impression cleanup is...