Purpose: Many restorative systems have become commercially available that are based on fiber-reinforced polymers (FRP) for production of fixed partial dentures. However, the clinical documentation of their use has not been systematically reviewed and critically appraised. This systematic review aimed to identify the scientific documentation of all commercially available products within this material group. Materials and Methods: MEDLINE was searched for all clinical and laboratory studies on FRP, and papers were browsed to identify product names. Moreover, the Internet was searched to find manufacturers of FRP products. Also, several large trade exhibitions were visited to identify products and manufacturers. All papers that included any data from a clinical setting of an identifiable product were critically appraised. Each product was categorized according to the scientific clinical documentation of their intended clinical use. Results: Eleven commercial products were identified. The scientific clinical documentation of these products varied markedly, but was generally poor. No randomized controlled trials have been carried out on FRPs versus, eg, conventional treatments, nor are any long-term cohort studies available. None of the products demonstrate good evidence for usage as a technical solution to permanently replace lost teeth. Conclusion: The use of FRP for fixed partial dentures must still be regarded as experimental.
Int J Prosthodont 2005;18:489–496.