Patients are always asking this question, so now here is the latest research to answer the question. MJ
It is the aim of this paper to consider the factors associated with the need for re-intervention on a conventional or resin-retained bridge, excluding recementation.
A data set was established consisting of patients, eighteen years or older, whose birthdays were included within a set of randomly selected dates, one of which was chosen in each possible year of birth and whose restoration records contained the placement of one or more indirect restorations on courses of treatment with last date on the claim form after 31st December 1990, and with date of acceptance after September 1990 and before January 2002. For each patient treated with a bridge, the subsequent history of intervention on each tooth used as a bridge abutment was consulted, and the next date of intervention, if any could be found in the extended data set, was obtained. Thus a data set was created of bridge abutments which have been placed, with their dates of placement and their dates, if any, of re-intervention.
Data for over 80,000 different adult patients were analysed, of whom 46% were male and 54% female. A total of 7,874 abutments (6,800 conventional and 1,074 resin-retained) were obtained from the data over a period of eleven years.
Factors which were found to reduce outcome of bridges included type of bridge, patient payment exemption status, patient attendance pattern and position of the bridge in the patient's mouth.
Survival of conventional bridge abutments has been shown to be 72% at 10 years, this being similar survival time to crowns. Various patient factors and bridge type were also found to influence survival.