Components of a Partial Denture
a. Major Connector: The unit of a removable partial denture that connects the parts of one side of the dental arch to those of the other side. It’s principal functions are to provide unification and rigidity to the denture.
b. Minor Connector: A unit of a partial denture that connects other components (i.e. direct retainer, indirect retainer, denture base, etc.) to the major connector. The principle functions of minor connectors are to provide unification and rigidity to the denture.
c. Direct Retainer: A unit of a partial denture that provides retention against dislodging forces. A direct retainer is commonly called a ‘clasp’ or ‘clasp unit’ and is composed of four elements, a rest, a retentive arm, a reciprocal arm and a minor connector.
d. Indirect Retainer: A unit of a Class I or II partial denture that prevents or resists movement or rotation of the base(s) away from the residual ridge. The indirect retainer is usually composed of one component, a rest.
e. Denture Base: The unit of a partial denture that covers the residual ridges and supports the denture teeth.