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International Journal of Dentistry
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 876023, 17 pages
Review Article

Relevance of Variations in the Opposing Dentition for the Functionality of Fixed and Removable Partial Dentures: A Systematic Review

1Department of Oral Surgery, Bernhard Gottlieb School of Dentistry, Medical University of Vienna, Sensengasse 2a, 1090 Vienna, Austria
2Department of Prosthodontics, Bernhard Gottlieb School of Dentistry, Medical University of Vienna, Sensengasse 2a, 1090 Vienna, Austria
3Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Moorenstr. 5, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany
4Division of Market and Reimbursement, HTA and Health Economic Evaluation, Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (vfa), Hausvogteiplatz 13, 10117 Berlin, Germany

Received 3 May 2012; Accepted 5 September 2012

Academic Editor: Dimitris N. Tatakis

Copyright © 2012 Bernhard Pommer et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate the functionality of fixed and removable partial dentures as test interventions in relation to variations in the opposing dentition and their prosthetic restoration. The abstracts identified in the respective databases were screened independently by two investigators. RCTs and uncontrolled studies were considered, provided the patients were included consecutively and the confounding variables were adequately monitored. Seventeen papers were included. The study and publication quality was assessed using a “biometric quality” tool showing an overall poor quality. The reported outcomes, such as survival rates, were in each case obtained from a single study. Two possible trends could be deduced for the endpoint longevity: (a) the first trend in favor of removable partial dentures, compared to fixed partial dentures, with a fully edentulous opposing arch fitted with a removable prosthesis; (b) the second trend in favor of implant-supported partial dentures, compared to conventionally fixed partial dentures, with natural opposing dentition or with a removable partial denture in the opposing arch. No evidence could be generated as to whether, and if so how, variations in the opposing dentition have a bearing on the decision to fit a partially edentulous arch with a fixed or removable partial denture.