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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2007  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 85-87

A simplified classification system for partial edentulism: A theoretical explanation

1 Department of Prosthodontics, Zahedan School of Dentistry, Mashhad, Iran
2 Department of Prosthodontics, Mashhad School of Dentistry, Mashhad, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Leila Ahmadian
Department of Prosthodontics, School of Dentistry, Zahedan University of Medical Sciences, Zahedan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-4052.34002

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We have introduced a simplified classification system for partial edentulism in this article. This is a numerical system that has six rules: 1) An edentulous area is coded from the right to the left, 2) The code "0" shows the midline, 3) A distal extended area is denoted by the code "1", 4) A tooth-supported edentulism is illustrated by the code "3", 5) The code "4" indicated a tooth-supported edentulism that crossing the midline, 6) The code "5" is used to illustrate distal extended edentulism that crosses the midline. Potential benefits of the system include: 1) Determination of the position of the edentulous area in the arch with respect to the midline, 2) Simplified imagination of the partial edentulous arch, 3) Improved professional communication, 4) Facilitated data transformation from the edentulous arch to the computer.

Keywords: Classification system, numerical system, partial edentulism

How to cite this article:
Arbabi R, Ahmadian L, Sharifi E. A simplified classification system for partial edentulism: A theoretical explanation. J Indian Prosthodont Soc 2007;7:85-7

How to cite this URL:
Arbabi R, Ahmadian L, Sharifi E. A simplified classification system for partial edentulism: A theoretical explanation. J Indian Prosthodont Soc [serial online] 2007 [cited 2022 Jan 19];7:85-7. Available from: https://www.j-ips.org/text.asp?2007/7/2/85/34002

It has been estimated that there are over 65000 possible combinations of teeth and edentulous spaces in opposing arches. [1] Several methods of classification of partially edentulous arches have been proposed and are in use. Classification assigns names and symbols which can aid in visualization and discrimination, which in turn can help in interdependent properties of a scientific domain. [2]

A useful classification is one, which depicts information in a simple, logical and vivid manner. [3] A classification system must be dynamic [3] and should enable visualization of the partially edentulous arch. As no single method of classification could suffice, an attempt should be made to combine the best features of all classification methods so that a universal classification can be adopted. [1]

Today, the Kennedy's method of classification is probably the most widely accepted classification of partially edentulous arches. This classification would be difficult to apply to every situation without certain rules governing the application of Kennedy's method. [1] Therefore, there was some uncertainty regarding its application. In this article, we attempt to provide a simpler classification of partially edentulous arches while considering most of Kennedy's and all of Applegate's rules in this system. Our system is based on numerical codes and is designed to enable quick visualization of the partial edentulous arch.

  Rules of The System Top

This system has six rules that include:

Rule 1. Edentulous spaces are coded from the most posterior right side of the arch toward the left side.

Rule 2. The midline has been determined in this system. "0" Code is used to demonstrate the midline [Figure - 1]. According to rule 1, the number(s) located before the "0" code refer to the right side of the edentulous space(s) in the mouth or the cast while the number(s) after the "0" code describe(s) the edentulous space(s) on the left side of the arch.

Rule 3. In this classification, the code "1" indicates the distally extended edentulous spaces [Figure - 1]. Therefore, Kennedy's class I representing bilateral distal extensions has been shown by double "1"on each side of the midline symbol.

Note: The code "2" is not used in this system, therefore, any possibility of confusion between this numeral code and Kennedy's class II has been eliminated. Thus, if Kennedy's class II rule is being used to represent a unilateral distal extension located on the left side of the arch, the code "01" is used to describe the existing state of edentulism according to our classification system [Figure - 2].

Rule 4. Every tooth-supported edentulous area was given the code "3". For example, an edentulous area to the left side of the arch falling under Kennedy's class III rule, has been given code "03" in our system. For more example, going by Kennedy's class II mod1 nomenclature, the code of the main edentulous space is expressed by "1" in our system and the modification by code "3" [Figure - 3]. Thus, our classification system assists a practitioner in imagining the exact location of the main edentulous area and the modification in the arch.

Rule 5. Code "4" denotes an anterior edentulous area that crosses the midline [Figure - 4]. This code could determine the midline alone, therefore in these cases the code of the midline has been eliminated.

Rule 6. Sometimes, a distal extension edentulous space crosses the midline. The code "5" is used to describe this situation [Figure - 5]. The code has been located before or after "0" according to the position of the edentulous area.

  Benefits of our New Classification System Top

This new classification system is intended to offer the following benefits:

  1. This system determines the position of an edentulous space in the arch with respect to the midline, enabling a practitioner or technician to imagine the partially edentulous arch easily.
  2. Easy visualization of the partially edentulous arch will faciltate the planning and consultation for primary treatment.
  3. In this system, all of Applegate's classification rules have been considered.
  4. There was no conflict between Kennedy's classification and our system.
  5. Our classification system is a numerical one, which makes translation to digital data easy. Nowadays, software applications have been written to design removable partial denture frameworks. Thus, our new coding system could facilitate the transformation of data to the computer.

  References Top

McGivney GP. Classification of partially edentulous arches: McCracken's removable partial prosthodontics. 10 th ed. Mosby: St Lois; 2000. p. 19-25.  Back to cited text no. 1
Avant W. A universal classification for removable partial denture situations. J Prosthet Dent 1996;16:533-9.  Back to cited text no. 2
Friedman J. The ABC classification of partial denture segments. J Prosthet Dent 1953;3:513-9.  Back to cited text no. 3


  [Figure - 1], [Figure - 2], [Figure - 3], [Figure - 4], [Figure - 5]


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