The fit of fixed multiunit dental prostheses (FDP), traditionally termed fixed partial dentures (FPDs), is an ongoing problem. Poorly fitting restorations may hasten mechanical failure, due to abutment caries or screw failure. Soldering and welding play an important role in trying to overcome misfit of fixed multiunit prostheses. The term FPD will be used to denote multiunit fixed dental prostheses in this review. This is the first of a series of articles that review the state of the art and science of soldering and welding in relation to the fit of cemented or screw-retained multiunit prostheses. A comprehensive archive of background information and scientific findings is presented. Texts in dental materials and prosthodontics were reviewed. Scientific data were drawn from the numerous laboratory studies up to and including 2009. The background, theory, terminology, and working principles, along with the applied research, are presented. This first article focuses on soldering principles and dimensional accuracy in soldering. There is some discussion and suggestions for future research and development. Soldering may improve dimensional accuracy or reduce the distortion of multiunit fixed prostheses. Many variables can affect the outcome in soldering technique. Research science has developed some helpful guidelines. Research projects are disconnected and limited in scope.
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