This study aimed to investigate dentists’ treatment choices concerning “repair or replacement” of defective restorations.

A pre-coded questionnaire was sent electronically to all dentists (n = 1313) in the Public Dental Service (PDS) in Norway. Part one: The dentists were asked about age and gender, whether they performed direct restorative therapy/amount of time spent on fillings made per day due to: Primary caries, Repair of restorations or Replacement of restoration/what kind of bonding agents used and pre-treatment of the residual restoration. Part two: The dentists were asked to consider the best treatment for three patient cases with tooth/restoration fractures.

Response rate was 55.8%, (69.6% females, 30.4% males). Respondent age varied from 25 to 77 years (mean 41.8, SD 12.4). Part one: The dentists spent on average 57.5% of the working day placing restorations, making from 1 to 30 (mean 7.7, SD 3.6) restorations per day. Reasons for treatment were; Primary caries 55.7% (SD 19.1%), repair of restorations 26.7% (SD 14.8%), replacement of fillings 18.2% (SD 11.2%). Two-step etch and rinse (ER), 3-step ER and Self-etch (SE) were used by 48.7%, 24.6% and 26.7% of the respondents, respectively. A silanising agent was used by 7.4%. Part two: Treatment choices: Repair with RC: 89.6% in case one, 86.9% in case two and 54.1% in case three. Young dentists suggested invasive treatment more often than old dentists (>38 years).

Operative dentistry claims 57.5% of PDS dentists’ working day. In addition to primary caries, repair and replacement of restorations accounted for 27% and 18% of the reasons for placing restorations.

Clinical significance
The idea of “minimal intervention dentistry” seems to have great influence among dentists in PDS (Norway), as they seek to preserve dental hard tissue as much as possible by choosing repair before replacement. No gender differences were observed, but older dentists seem to favour repair compared with the younger dentists.

Repair of defective composite restorations. A questionnaire study among dentists in the Public Dental Service in Norway
Staxrud F, Tveit AB, Rukke HV, Kopperud SE.
Journal of Dentistry September 2016; 52: 50–54.