Enhanced Verifiable CPD from the
University of Birmingham

Why do bridges fail?


There is a large evidence base for the use and success/failure of bridges in dentistry. Many of the studies are epidemiological – that is, they look at large numbers of bridges provided by large numbers of clinicians. This provides data like how long on average different types of bridges last. (What do you reckon for the bridge above? - click to magnify)

Some studies just look at the work of an individual dentist, or a small group (e.g. students) under close supervision. The data from these studies does not apply to the general world of dentistry.

Which type of study is most useful to inform the dental profession: epidemiological, or individual audit?

In the following pages you will find 40 abstracts that we think are interesting and relevant. They are mostly to do with bridge failures: the influences of design, materials, span, patient age, ante’s law, fixed vs adhesive etc. There are also papers that look at why bridges fail: caries, perio, occlusal forces, preparation shape, etc. Many papers report different findings: the challenge is to work out why.

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