taking an impression with an existing partial denture

As your dental lab, we are happy to be a resource to both the dentist and their assist staff. 

A common call we get from a dental office goes something like this: “The patient has an existing partial and we need to take an impression for a crown. Does the lab need us to send them their partial along with our impressions, or should we take the impression with the partial in?” or “How long will my patient be without their partial? 

Combining multiple restorations and dental appliances can require some extra steps to ensure that all parts work together cohesively.

An impression with the partial in place is needed for these types of cases.

Here is what your lab needs:

After the tooth is prepped, we will need an impression with the partial in place. This will cause the partial to be embedded into the impression material. Do not remove the partial from the impression, and send them both to the lab. 

A pickup impression of the prepped tooth or teeth, with packed cord in place, will also be necessary to ensure margin integrity. The impression with the partial in place often does not accurately capture the margins on it’s own.

This means that the patient will be without their partial while the crown is being fabricated. Ideally we would like to have it for the whole turnaround time. However we can, and do often, make exceptions to this if the patient needs their partial back ASAP.

Here are the options if a patient needs to pick up their partial early:

If there is a simple clasp on the partial then we can likely replicate it with a type of GC pattern resin, enabling the patient to pick their partial after only 2-3 business days.

The next option is to pick it up after models have been poured, usually 2 business days later, and then bring it back to the lab later on for the final stage of manufacturing. We will need it for 3 more days after that.

With either of these options it is important that these types of cases are prepped earlier in the week so that the turnaround time does not fall on a weekend. These 2-3 day time frames refer to business days only. For example, a partial sent to the lab on a Thursday or Friday may not be available for pickup until the following Tuesday or Wednesday.

If you have any other questions about this process, reach out to us so we can serve you and your patients better.

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