Preparation Sequence of a 3-Unit Fixed Partial Denture

Publication ID Published Volume
8376 February 17, 2011 7


This resource is a video that illustrates a straightforward tooth-preparation sequence for a three-unit fixed partial denture. Reduction accuracy and preparation draw are emphasized through the use of reduction guides and paralleling grooves. The demonstration is recorded on a typodont with Ivorine teeth, using carbide and diamond burs. The video depicts the step-by-step preparation process taught to dental students, prosthodontics residents, and preceptors by the Prosthodontics Department at the University of Texas Dental Branch at Houston. This video is an excellent communication tool that places tooth-preparation techniques in the hands of dental students and residents any time they choose. It also maximizes the students’ comprehension and learning experience since they have infinite opportunities to review the material prior to and after class. The video could also be used as a continuing clinical aid, which students can rely upon prior to treating their patients in clinic. It is, by far, a superior communication tool when compared to a static PowerPoint presentation, since the students can observe a live demonstration of abutment preparation for a three-unit fixed partial denture.


Ortegon S, Koeppen R, Park C. Preparation sequence of a 3-unit fixed partial denture. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2011;7:8376.

Educational Objectives

By the end of this resource, learners will be able to:

  1. Describe the overall features of a metal-ceramic and full cast crown preparation.
  2. Describe the use of specific burs during a fixed partial denture preparation sequence.
  3. Discuss the purpose and accurate use of a reduction guide.
  4. Describe the amount of necessary reduction in relation to the restorative materials used.
  5. Describe simple solutions to achieve proper draw.
  6. Describe the rationale for the various margin designs.


  • Fixed Partial Denture, Tooth Preparation, Dentures, Crowns, Orthodontic Retainers, Burs

Prior Scholarly Dissemination

This video content was reviewed internally at the University of Texas Dental Branch Houston (UTDBH) by a peer review committee that included the Dental School Dean, the Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Educational Research, and the Restorative Department Chair. The material also appeared at UTDBH in the DEPS 2908 Fixed Prosthodontics Syllabus (2010) and in PowerPoint presentations posted on the UTDBH Black Board.

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ISSN 2374-8265