Postceramic soldering of collarless veneered retainers in which the porcelain margins were formed with a platinum foil matrix technique was investigated. The purpose of the study was to determine if removing the platinum foil matrix before or after indexing and soldering procedures would affect the porcelain margin integrity in fixed partial dentures. Prostheses were fabricated on a nickel-chromium laboratory model using both sequences. Six test cycles were performed. Each cycle included one soldering with matrix support and one without the matrix, for a total of 12 solderings. The fixed partial dentures were compared for degree of marginal seating with a measuring microscope and for configuration changes at the porcelain margins with scanning electron micrographs. In the microscopic analysis of marginal closure, soldering without foil matrix was statistically equal to soldering with foil in place. Removal of the platinum foil matrices prior to indexing provided for no further seating of the metal ceramic retainers. Evaluation by scanning electron microscopy demonstrated distinct configuration changes in the porcelain margins for the specimens soldered without matrix support.
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