Resin Bonded Bridges. Dentists Often Blame the Material or the Patient Rather than the Technique
Dentists are often quick to say that a particular material is a failure because the material does not live up to the manufacturer's claims.
Fiber reinforced processed resin used to fabricate bridges is such a material. Historically, these bridges are said to last approximately 5 years with the cautionary warning that case selection is vital to the success of the bridge.
In many cases, it is not the material that fails; It is usually also not true that patient habits are a major reason for failure of these bridges. It is my opinion that failure is usually caused by a technique error by failing to follow the critical steps usually outlined by the manufacturer. One such technique failure is not placing a rubber dam when bonding the bridge to place. A second reason for an unsuccessful bridge is that the dentist fails to prep the teeth to the gingival margin in order to get an adequate thickness both buccal lingually AND inciso-gingivally. Neither of these failures has anything to do with the failure rate of Fiber reinforced resin bridges.
The bridge in the photos was placed in the mouth of a hygienist in 2002 which means that the bridge has been in function for 15 years without any repairs. This bridge was laboratory fabricated but I have also fabricated my own 3 unit fiber reinforced bridge using a direct/indirect approach. These bridges have similarly been in function for more than 10 years without a failure.
I received radiographs of a fiber reinforced resin bridge today that has been in serve for 18 years without a repair. These restorations are fabulous LONG TERM treatment options when ideal protocols are followed.