A removable partial denture (RPD) is for a partially edentulous dental patient who desires to have replacement teeth for functional or aesthetic reasons, and who cannot have a bridge (a fixed partial denture) for any number of reasons, such as a lack of required teeth to serve as support for a bridge (i.e. distal abutments) or due to financial limitations.
The reason why this type of prosthesis is referred to as a removable partial denture is because patients remove and reinsert them by themselves. This needs to be done twice a day as part of the patient's oral hygiene routine. The patient must be sure to brush the partial denture, especially any clasps that hook on to the natural teeth.