Repair increases the longevity of restorations and is well-accepted by patients. In
this study, the authors assessed the acceptance of dental restoration repair by dentists
and determined the main variables of repair versus replacement of defective restorations.
A 15-item questionnaire was developed and distributed electronically to the American
Dental Association Clinical Evaluators panel members (n = 785) during a 2-week period
in 2019. Descriptive, bivariate, and multivariable analyses were conducted.
Of the 387 respondents, 83.7% stated that they repair defective restorations, and
16% stated that they always replace them. Reasons to forego a restoration repair among
dentists who perform repairs included defect size and carious lesion extension (42%)
and negative personal experience or lack of success (37.9%). However, the latter was
considerably higher for dentists who do not perform repairs (60.7%). The most commonly
cited patient-related reason and tooth condition to repair restorations were limited
patient finances (67%) and noncarious marginal defects (86%), respectively. Neither
sex nor age group was significantly associated with the practice of restoration repair
(P = .925 and P = .369, respectively). However, sole proprietors were more likely to perform repairs
than those in an employee, associate, or contractor practice setting (P = .008). The most significant reason to forego restoration was negative experience
or lack of success (P = .002).
Restoration repair is considered a treatment option for managing defective restorations.
Negative personal experience or lack of success and practice setting influenced the
dentists’ decision to repair or replace a defective restoration.
Understanding dentists’ clinical challenges and practice environment is necessary
when advocating for this approach.