Restorative Direct Management of Cavitated Proximal Carious Lesions of Permanent Molars using Elastic Separators in Children and Adolescents

Author(s): Berdouses ED, Agouropoulos A, Sifakaki M, Lagouvardos P, Oulis CJ

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess the longevity of direct amalgam and composite restorations placed on the mesial surface of permanent molars after separation with elastic separators.

Design: One hundred and seventy seven (177) restorations placed on the mesial surfaces of first and second permanent molars in 140 patients aged 10-25 years-old (median age 12.2 years) were followed for a period of 1 to 12 years (median time 4.3 years). Eighty four (84) amalgam and 93 composite resin restorations were placed randomly on carious lesions that were detected by bite-wing x-rays at the dentino-enamel junction and verified as cavitated after tooth separation. Restorations were evaluated clinically according to the modified Ryge criteria. Flexible parametric proportional-hazards and proportional-odds models for censored survival data was used to analyze the data, with application to prognostic modelling and estimation of treatment effects at 95% CI.

Results: Of the 177 restorations, 13 (7.2%) failed in a median time to failure of 8.8 years. There was no statistically significant difference on the cumulative median time to failures between amalgam and composite while statistically significant difference was found between patients that were using fluoride mouthrinse or not (p<0.048) and if there was bleeding detected at the interproximal area of the restoration or not (p<0.001).

Conclusions: Restorative management of cavitated proximal carious surfaces of permanent teeth with amalgam or composite resin, using elastic separators, seems to be a very good and promising alternative technique in the context of the minimal invasive dentistry in children and adolescents.

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