Purpose: Long-span, resin-bonded fixed partial dentures (FPDs) have been associated with higher debonding rates than short-span prostheses. The use of modified nonrigid connectors that allow movement between the abutments in long-span resin-bonded prostheses may reduce harmful interabutment forces that stress the metal framework and resin-bonded interface. This preliminary investigation aimed to evaluate the longevity of long-span resin-bonded FPDs of 4 or more units with a modified nonrigid connector and increased extension of the retainer framework around the major abutment. Materials and Methods: Thirty-eight patients attended a clinical examination; each had been provided with 1 or more resin-bonded FPD of 4 or more units (43 prostheses). For each patient, the following data were recorded: gender, age, cementation date, and endodontic treatment, if performed. Data regarding the occurrence of any debondings and patient expectations were also recorded. Results: The mean service life for the 43 prostheses was 46.9 months (SD 22.0), with a range of 12 days to 87 months. Three prostheses had debonded, resulting in a clinical retention rate of 92.2%. Conclusion: Long-span resin-bonded FPDs incorporating nonrigid connectors that allow independent movement between the major and minor retainer, combined with increased framework extension on the major abutment, appear successful in the short term. Further research is required to determine their long-term efficacy.
Int J Prosthodont 2005;18:371–376.