Duraflex vs Valplast: How To Choose the Best Flexible Partial Denture

May 29, 2024

Flexible Partial Dentures
Greg Schubert | Blog Author at Pro-Craft

Written by:
Greg Schubert




What Is The Best Flexible Partial Denture?

The choice of materials for partial dentures significantly impacts comfort, aesthetics, and functionality. There are plenty of options for flexible partial dentures, but the most popular are Duraflex and Valplast. These dentures are known for their flexibility and durability and are a more comfortable and visually appealing alternative to traditional metal-based dentures. 

Our guide discusses the differences between Duraflex and Valplast, exploring their pros and cons so you can choose the best flexible partial denture for your patients. 

What is a Flexible Partial Denture?

Partial dentures are removable dental appliances for replacing one or more teeth lost to decay, injury, or gum disease. Traditional partial dentures have rigid, breakable bases, but a flexible partial denture uses a lightweight, thermoplastic material that is pliable and durable. This nylon-like material is softer and more bendable, allowing for a better fit and greater comfort. 

However, a flexible partial denture has a baseplate material that flexes when chewing and is unsuitable for replacing long spans of missing teeth or distal extension designs. In cases of extensive tooth loss, alternative treatments like implant-supported or crown and bridge restorations might be more appropriate.

Types of Flexible Dentures

Flexible partial dentures are crafted from various flexible thermoplastic materials catering to different patient needs. These types of flexible dentures include:

  • Nylon-Based (Valplast): These partial dentures are made from nylon thermoplastic and are durable, lightweight, and have an excellent fit. They are also hypoallergenic, so they're perfect for patients with allergies to metals or acrylics. Valplast is also designed to blend seamlessly with natural teeth for better overall aesthetics.
  • Duraflex: Duraflex dentures are made from a high-quality thermoplastic, combining flexibility with exceptional strength. They provide a comfortable fit with enough durability to withstand daily wear. The Duraflex material is also biocompatible and hypoallergenic.
  • Thermoplastic (TCS): TCS offers high flexibility and comfort. This material is also biocompatible and resistant to staining and odors.
  • Thermoflex: This partial denture uses flexible and durable materials. Thermoplastic resin allows for a snug fit adaptable to the patient's mouth. Thermoflex is known for its strength and ability to resist fractures in the long term.
  • Acetal Resin: Acetal resin is another thermoplastic material that is slightly more rigid than nylon but still offers flexibility. It is particularly beneficial for its strength and resistance to wear and tear. 

Flexible Partial Denture Pros and Cons

Traditional metal partial dentures, typically made from porcelain, resin, and chrome cobalt, have been the standard for many years. While functional, they come with several drawbacks:

  • Metal partials often show metal clasps when the patient smiles or talks.
  • The rigid metal frame can be uncomfortable.
  • Metal partials require regular cleaning to remove debris.
  • Metal partials do not always blend in with the patient's natural teeth.

Flexible partial dentures, on the other hand: 

  • Blend better with natural teeth for a more natural-looking smile.
  • Conform to the patient's mouth for a comfortable fit.
  • Crafted with materials resistant to stains and odors
  • Materials like Valplast and Duraflex are hypoallergenic

Flexible partial dentures offer many advantages over more traditional metal-based ones. You must consider your patients' needs and oral health to decide which type of flexible partial denture is best for them.

The Difference Between Duraflex vs. Valplast

When selecting the best flexible partial denture materials for your patient, the most popular options tend to be Duraflex and Valplast. Both have their fair share of benefits, so understanding their distinct characteristics can help you choose the best one for your patients.

Duraflex Partial Dentures

This flexible partial denture is comfortable, durable, and aesthetically pleasing. Crafted from ethylene-propylene, Duraflex dentures offer a unique blend of properties catering to various oral health needs. 

Some of the pros and cons of Duraflex include:

Pros of Duraflex

  • Their secure fit minimizes the risk of the denture coming loose when eating or speaking. 
  • Duraflex offers long-lasting durability that can withstand daily wear and tear.
  • Some Duraflex dentures include metal clasps for attachment to natural teeth, providing extra security. 
  • Their lightweight feel makes them easy to wear for daily use, and their flexibility reduces the chances of irritation and sore spots.
  • They’re crafted from an impression of the patient's teeth and designed to match the natural teeth color, size, and shape.

Cons of Duraflex

  • Despite their durability, these flexible partial dentures are susceptible to wear and tear. 
  • Prone to bacterial build-up, so patients must follow a stricter cleaning schedule to prevent infections and maintain oral health.
  • Initially, they may feel too tight and uncomfortable, requiring patients to get used to wearing the denture.
  • If damaged, these dentures are not simple to repair and often require creating a new set.

Valplast Partial Dentures

Webpage Thumbmail - Valplast V2

Valplast dentures are another excellent option for patients seeking flexible partial dentures due to their comfort, aesthetics, and durability blend. Made from a biocompatible nylon thermoplastic, Valplast offers a range of advantages for your patients. 

Pros of Valpast

  • Valplast is known for exceptional pliability for the best fit when doing a denture flexibility comparison.
  • They are seen as the most comfortable partial dentures.
  • Thin and lightweight material allows them to adapt to the mouth's contours for a snug fit.
  • Valplast can be placed without grinding or prepping the surrounding natural teeth.
  • Valplast dentures are resistant to breakage and can withstand the forces of chewing and everyday use.
  • They are designed to provide long-term satisfaction.
  • Valplast dentures are suitable for use in any area of the mouth.

Cons of Valpast

  • Valplast cannot be heated and remolded for adjustments, so they cannot be easily realigned if they no longer fit properly.
  • Valplast takes longer to create in the lab. 
  • Color degradation may occur over time.
  • The material requires rigorous cleaning to prevent bacterial build-up.

Duraflex vs. Valplast: Which Uses the Best Denture Material?

Deciding between Duraflex and Valplast materials largely depends on the specific needs and preferences of your patients, including:

  • Oral Health Needs: Patients needing extra stability and are concerned about their dentures staying in place might prefer Duraflex.
  • Lifestyle Factors: Patients wanting extra security with the metal clasps might prefer Duraflex.
  • Comfort and Flexibility: Patients prioritizing comfort and flexibility, or those with sensitive gums prone to irritation, might prefer Valplast. 
  • Aesthetic Preferences: Patients concerned about the appearance of their dentures and want a metal-free solution will prefer Valplast. 
  • Allergies and Sensitivities: Valplast is preferred by patients with metal allergies or sensitivities.

Which Flexible Partial Denture is Best for Your Patients?

Choosing the right flexible partial denture depends on a patient's needs, preferences, and lifestyle. As a dental professional, offering your patients the best possible solutions tailored to their unique situations is crucial. 

At PRO-Craft Dental Laboratory, our commitment to excellence ensures that you can provide your patients with the best care possible. That's why we offer: 

  • Fast turnaround times (7-day standard turnaround on conventional cases and 5-day turnaround for digital scans) 
  • Direct access to our dental lab experts
  • The best material for your patient's dental appliances
  • Free Rush Cases

Partner with PRO-Craft Dental today and experience the benefits of timely, consistent, and high-quality dental restorations. Contact us to learn how we can support your practice and help you deliver outstanding dental solutions.

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