Purpose: This study of full crowns investigated long-term survival in relationship to biologic and technical variables. Materials and Methods: A total of 1,037 full crowns in 456 patients, made in an undergraduate university clinic, were evaluated over an 18-year period. All patients were offered a supportive maintenance program. Failures of full crowns were classified as irreversible (loss of full crown and/or tooth) or reversible (full crown intact after conservative treatment) complications and as biologic or technical/patient-related failures. Results: The Kaplan-Meier survival rate after 18 years was 78%. No statistically significant differences were found between restorations in the maxilla and mandible (P = .150); between restorations on molars, premolars, and anterior teeth (P = .671); and between restorations on posts and cores compared to restorations without posts and cores (P = .602). For the surviving restorations, the improved plaque score over time was statistically significant (P = .001). Biologic failures (66.4%) resulting in removal were more common than technical and patient-related failures (33.6%). Caries was the most frequent reason for failure (irreversible complication). Conclusion: The survival of full crowns made in an undergraduate university clinic during an 18-year period is comparable to the results published by university departments or private practitioners. Plaque scores and bleeding on probing were not directly related to failures. Occurrence of a previously reversible complication is a predicting factor for an irreversible complication. A reversible complication within the first 2 years will probably lead to an early irreversible complication.
Int J Prosthodont 2006;19:136–142