The treatment procedures used in conjunction with two different metal-free restorative systems are illustrated on the basis of clinical examples. In addition, a report on the initial clinical findings is provided.
Metal-free restorative materials are opening doors to new preparation methods because of their close link to the adhesive cementation technique. As a result of the developments over the past few years, various metal-free systems that can be used to fabricate short-span fixed partial dentures (FPD) are now available. Certain guidelines, however, must be observed in the process. Because of their minimal invasiveness, inlay-retained FPDs offer an interesting solution in cases where the residual dentition exhibits low caries activity. Since the beginning of 1997, a total of 23 metal-free inlay-retained FPDs made of two different types of framework material (11 of high-strength pressed ceramic and 12 of fiber-reinforced composite) have been examined in a clinical study.
One inlay-retained FPD made of pressed ceramic had to be replaced because of a fracture. Because the materials have only been on the market for a short time, long-term results are not yet available.
This type of restoration provides excellent esthetics and reduced invasiveness compared with complete crown-retained FPDs, although indications are limited by the special mechanical properties of the material.