How could dental crown or bridge complications be better prevented? Dentists must consider several interacting risk factors before treatment, a new dissertation finds.

Smoking and so-called bruxism, pressing or grinding teeth, can influence the survival of fixed dental prostheses, such as crowns and bridges. But preserving tooth vitality and choice of prosthesis material may improve the treatment outcomes, says Mohammed Hawthan, doctoral student at the Faculty of Odontology. 

In his dissertation, 'On failures and complications of tooth-supported fixed prostheses', he investigated what factors could affect the lifespan of a fixed prosthesis.

”Many previous studies have focused on one or two risk factors, but examining multiple interacting factors can provide a better overview.”

The dissertation consists of four sub-studies: a systematic literature review and three retrospective studies conducted in databases with patient data from the University’s dental clinic in Malmö. The analysed data includes almost 1400 reconstructions (331 bridges and 1050 crowns).

”Based on our studies, it isn’t possible to identify a single risk factor as more important than any other. However, we see that the risks increase if the patient has several of the factors. We also see that follow-ups are central in improving the outcome," says Mohammed Hawthan.

How do you hope your findings would be used?

”Recognising risk factors that place the patient at a higher risk of treatment failure will allow the clinician to refine the treatment plan to optimise treatment outcomes. The importance of follow-up visits should be explained to all patients, and clinicians should also show patients how to clean their teeth after receiving fixed constructions.”

Text: Anna Dahlbeck

More about the dissertation