This critical summary of a review published by Lulic et al in 2007 has just been published under the auspicies of the American Dental Association Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry. For 80 years Ante’ law has influenced standard textbooks of prosthodontics. It stated:-
the total periodontal membrane area of the abutment teeth must equal or exceed that of the teeth to be replaced.
The summariser notes that the Lulic review only includes 6 retrospective studies and there were some apparent methodological shortcoming with the review. The original review concluded that:-
The long-term prognosis of a fixed dental prosthesis (FDP) with abutments that have severely reduced periodontal support depends on the maintenance of a healthy periodontium.
The quality of the evidence available to address this question is limited, but it does suggest that Ante’s is not supported.
Lulic M, Brägger U, Lang NP, Zwahlen M, Salvi GE. Ante’s (1926) law revisited: a systematic review on survival rates and complications of fixed dental prostheses (FDPs) on severely reduced periodontal tissue support. Clin Oral Implants Res. 2007 Jun;18 Suppl 3:63-72. Review. Erratum in: Clin Oral Implants Res. 2008 Mar;19(3):326-8. PubMed PMID: 17594371
Ante LH The fundamental principles of abutments. Mich State Dent Soc Bull 1926;8:14–23