Today's dental reconstructive therapeutic concepts require restoration of high esthetic quality and excellent biocompatibility. Full ceramic reconstructions accomplish these requirements but only for anterior teeth and premolars. For all-ceramic bridges the mechanical strength was insufficient to withstand the posterior chewing forces. Frequently the interdental connectors cracked, and the only way to prevent these fractures was to overconture the connectors to a size of approx. 16 mm2. The high-tech ceramic zirconia is a potential alternative for three-to five-unit full ceramic bridges in the functionally loaded posterior segments. Experimental zirconia bridges which were fabricated using the DCM system (Direct Ceramic Machining System at the ETH Zurich, were tested in vitro. The frameworks were digitally enlarged by 20% and were easily milled from a presintered yet porous zirconia blank. After the milling process, the framework was densely sintered and shrank to its original size.Due to these positive in-vitro results a clinical investigation was started. 22 veneered zirconia bridges were luted; 19 molars and 25 premolars were prepared. The connectors, max. 7 mm2, of all these bridges, have been functionally loaded by antagonists. After a mean observation time of 385 days (307 days to 488 days), all 22 bridges did not show any cracks in the framework or in the veneering porcelain. The patients commented particularly on the low heat conduction rate of zirconia. The only endodontic problem which occurred could not be directly connected to the type of bridge framework. The reliability of zirconia bridges in this investigation was connected to the DCM-Process. No statement about other zirconia-systems can be made on the results of this study.