“Nothing worthwhile is ever without complications.”
The recent increase in reports from clinical studies of ceramic chipping has raised the question of which criteria should constitute success or failure of total-ceramic prostheses. Terminologies such as minor chipping , partial chipping, technical complications , and biological complications have crept into the dental terminology and they have complicated our classification of success and failure of these crown and bridge restorations. Some journals have permitted the reporting of fractures as “complications” and they are not necessarily classified as failures in the study. One study has attempted to classify chipping fractures according to their severity and subsequent treatment . This is a promising approach to resolve the challenges to the classification of chipping fracture.
The term ‘chipping fracture’ is more descriptive than ‘chipping’ since the latter term tends to imply an event of minor consequence. Two types of statistics are reported routinely in these studies, i.e., percent success, which is a measure of restorations that survive without any adverse effects, and percent survival, which is a measure of all restorations that survive even though they may have exhibited chipping fracture or they may have been repaired. Why has this scenario occurred? One possible explanation is that many of these types of fractures are very small and do not affect function or esthetics. Another reason is that corporate sponsors prefer to use the term chipping since it does not connote failure in the sense that the term fracture does. In any event, we need to be more precise in our scientific observations of fracture and classifications of the various types of fracture including details on the location of fracture and the prosthesis design configuration. Because of the lack of standardized methods for describing chipping fractures, materials scientists are unable to properly analyze the effect of material properties and design factors on the time-dependent survival probability of ceramic fixed dental prostheses (FDPs). Based on the review of clinical trials and systematic reviews of these trials, the present study was designed to develop guidelines for classifying the functional performance, success, survival, and susceptibility to chipping fracture, and subsequent treatment of ceramic and metal–ceramic restorations.
To develop comprehensive descriptive guidelines and a clinical reporting form to assist dental scientists in their analyses of chipping fracture behavior of metal–ceramic and all-ceramic prostheses with particular emphasis on veneered-zirconia restorations. These guidelines are required to optimize the recording of fracture features that can be used to differentiate ceramic chipping fracture from bulk fracture and to assist dentists in identifying subsequent treatment that may minimize the need to replace affected restorations.
A recording form for clinical fracture observations must be sufficiently clear and complete so that dental health professionals can translate the most relevant information in a context that allows their patients to fully understand the potential risks and benefits of treatment with ceramic restorations. It should clearly allow a clinician to determine whether or not a ceramic fracture constitutes a failure, which requires replacement of the prosthesis, or whether the fracture surface is relatively small or located in a nonfunctional area, i.e., one that is not contribute to occlusion, esthetics, proximal contacts, or food impaction.
To accomplish this task, a review of the relevant publications of clinical trials was necessary to identify the variability in reporting of fracture events. The reviews were focused on clinical research studies of zirconia-based FDPs and PFM FDPs, which had been monitored through recall exams for three years or more. These reports and systematic reviews of all relevant publications were published in English dental journals between 2004 and 2010.The primary focus in this review was on the susceptibility to chipping fracture or bulk fracture of veneered zirconia-based fixed dental prostheses (FDPs) and metal–ceramic FDPs, which are also referred to in this paper as porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) FDPs.
Source: Dental Materials