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Classification of partially edentulous arches


Classification of partially edentulous arches

Requirements of an Acceptable Method

of Classification

Kennedy Classification

AppleBate's rules Jor applyjn8 the Kennedy


Self-Assessment Aids


t has been estimated that there are over 65,000 possible combinations of teeth and edentu­

lous spaces in opposing arches. It would be helpful to classify partially edentulous arches that share common attributes, characteristics, qualities, or traits. Obviously, no single method of classification can be descriptive of any ex­cept the most basic types. Several methods of classification of partially edentulous arches have been proposed and 21321c21v are in use. This variety

has led to some confusion and disagreement

concerning which method should be adopted and which method best classifies all possible configurations.

Although classifications are actually descrip­tive of the partially edentulous arches, the removable partial denture restoring a particular class of arch is described as a denture of that class. For example, we speak of a Class III or Class I removable partial denture. It is simpler to say /fa Class II partial denture" than it is to say aa partial denture restoring a Class II partially edentulous arch."

The most familiar classifications are those originally proposed by Kennedy, Cummer, and Bailyn. Classifications have also been pro­posed by Beckett, Godfrey, Swenson, Friedman,

Wilson, Skinner, Applegate, Avant, Miller, and others. It is evident that an attempt should be made to combine the best features of all classifications so that a universal classification can be adopted.

The Kennedy method of classification is probably the most widely accepted classification of partially edentulous arches today. In an attempt to simplify the problem and encourage more universal use of a classification and in the interest of adequate communication, the Kennedy classification will be used in this textbook. The student can refer to the Selected Reading Resources section for information rela­tive to other classifications.


The classification of a partially edentulous arch should satisfy the following requirements:

1. It should permit immediate visualization of

the type of partially edentulous arch that is being considered.

McCracken's removable partial prosthodontics









Fig.3-2 Kennedy classification with examples of modifications. A, Class I. B, Class II. C, Class III. D, Class IV. E, Class I, modification 1. F, Class II, modification 2. G, Class III, modification 1. H, Class III, modification

Chapter 3

Classification of partially edentulous arches

Fig. 3-3 Nine partially edentulous arch configurations.

Class II partial denture rightly falls between the Class I and the Class III because it embodies design features common to both. In keeping with the principle that design is based on the classification, the application of such principles of design is simplified by retaining the original classification of Kennedy.


1. Would you agree that the primary purpose of

a classification is to enhance communication among dentists? Support your answer.

2. Many classification systems have been pro­posed; however, the most widely accepted system in the United States is the one

proposed by in 1925.

3. A classification of partially edentulous arches should satisfy at least three requirements. List them.

4. Kennedy divided all partially edentulous

arches into main types.

5. What is meant by a modification space? 6. Which two classes of partially edentulous

arches have the greatest incidence of occur­

rence according to Skinner?

7. Dr. a.c. Applegate contributed greatly to the

application of the original Kennedy classifica­

tion system. What was this contribution?

8. Classify the partially edentulous arches illus­

trated in Fig. 3-3.

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