Getting A Flexible Shine – Flexible Partial Polishing Tip

Written by Andrew Sedler

The flexible partial is one of our most popular products and we have found two that work well for our clinicians: Valplast flexible partials and TCS flexible partials. These partials can be hard to adjust and polish, though. The recommended way isn't very practical for clinical situations, but there is a better method.

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Valplast Flexible Partials at Burbank Dental Lab

Flexible partials are one of our most popular and most trouble-free products. For over 60 years Valplast has been a very viable alternative to cast partial denture frameworks. In recent years there have been several other entries into the market for flexible partial dentures, driven by patients and clinicians alike looking for metal-free partial options. While there are many materials available for flexible partials, we have found two that work well for our clinicians: Valplast and TCS flexible partials. (Fig. 1)

Valplast and TCS flexible partials
Fig. 1 - Valplast and TCS flexible partials

As popular as flexible partials are, there is one thing that I have heard from clinicians for YEARS, that these nylon partials are hard to adjust and polish. The recommended way is for a lab to polish a Valplast using rag wheels with pumice then Tripoli, not very practical for clinical situations. There is also the official Valplast technique to adjust and polish chairside, which uses carbide burs, green stones, and silicone acrylic polisher.

The simplest way that I have found to adjust and polish chairside is by using a silicone acrylic polisher alone. Keeping it simple is my objective: zero bur changes, minimum mess, and most importantly, not having to leave the chairside. For almost all adjustments, you will only need to use the bullet-shaped, medium grit straight hand-piece bur (Fig. 2).

Medium-grit straight hand-piece bur

If you need to adjust inside of a clasp, you can use the smaller point bur. Start off adjusting with speed at about 30,000 rpm with a medium to firm pressure. You will get a few material tags, but they will be removed in buffing phase 2. In Step 2 use the same bur but reduce speed to about 10,000 rpm and use only light pressure buffing strokes to remove tags, smooth and achieve a nice satin finish. This is usually a very acceptable finish that will be a very comfortable feel for patients. If you want to go one step further, you can use a small rag/muslin wheel buff on your straight hand-piece and Valplast Mirror Shine Compound (Fig. 3), but this is probably more than you would need or want to do. 

Valplast Mirror Shine Compound
Valplast Mirror Shine Compound - Bur and Buffs - Fig. 3

This simplified approach should save you chair time and eliminate any aggravation in getting the level of excellence that the clinicians seek at Burbank Dental Lab.

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Fabrication
of the future
is here!

Burbank Dental Lab has three new state-of-the-art Carbon M2 printers. We are very excited about the options that these cutting-edge printers will allow us to offer our dental clients. Here are some of the advantages that these printers will begin to deliver to you and your dental practice.

Our New
State-Of-The-Art
3d Printers

Carbon offers a highly dependable 3D manufacturing solution for many dental applications with its breakthrough Digital Light Synthesis™ technology, enabled by a wide range of dental materials.