An investigation into aspects of resin retained bridge design on aesthetics and oral health related outcomes

  • Claire Forbes-Haley

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Science by Research (MScR)


Objective: This thesis aims to determine if altering the design of an anterior resin-retained bridge (RRB) by removing the incisal edge metal extension, improves aesthetic outcomes without adversely affecting failure rates.

Methods: The study was carried out in two phases. Phase 1 was a randomised, controlled, two treatment, parallel study in 40 dental patients attending a Dental Hospital with an anterior missing tooth requiring replacement. Phase 1 participants received one of two RRB designs, original or adjusted and completed a quality-of-life questionnaire (OHRQoL) before and after treatment. Photographs of tooth replacement outcomes were taken, and a questionnaire (containing 5 images of each RRB design selected at random and randomly presented) was generated. In phase two aesthetic outcomes of the 2 RRB designs were compared by three participant groups (hypodontia patients, The Public, dental care professionals) who rated the attractiveness of each image on a 5-point likert scale.

Results: For phase 1 there was statistical evidence for an improvement in OHRQoL after treatment, for both participant groups (p<0.001), but not for a difference in improvement in OHRQoL between them. To date, no failures have been reported for either group. When phase 2 data from all three participant groups were combined, the two-outcome analysis demonstrated that there was statistical evidence for a preference for the adjusted RRB (p<0.001), however there were no differences between groups. Females showed a greater preference for the adjusted RRB than males.

Conclusions: A RRB design that reduces the visible incisal metal rim improves aesthetic outcomes and to date shows no adverse effect on bridge survival. OHRQoL scores were improved irrespective of RRB design when patients transfer from removable to fixed prosthesis. The aesthetic questionnaire was used successfully and shows merit as an aesthetic assessment tool for comparison of fixed prosthetic dental treatments.
Date of Award27 Sept 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bristol
SupervisorNicola X West (Supervisor) & Maria Davies (Supervisor)


  • Resin retained bridge
  • Dental Aesthetics
  • Oral health related quality of life

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