Dental practice in the UK in 2015/2016 - Part 2: Aspects of direct restorations, bleaching, endodontics and paediatric dentistry

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Objective To follow up related studies reported in 2004/2005 and 2011/2012 by investigating aspects of direct restorations, bleaching, endodontics and paediatric dentistry in general dental practice, as part of a survey of arrangements and procedures in the clinical practice of dentistry. Methods The data presented were extracted from the data obtained from a piloted, 121-question questionnaire distributed at random to general dental practitioners in the UK attending postgraduate meetings in 2015/2016, with a wide distribution of locations. Percentages reported are based upon the number of respondents who answered each question, given that not all respondents answered all 121 questions included in the questionnaire. Results Between 2008 and 2015, composite displaced amalgam as the material most commonly used by general dental practitioners (GDPs) for the restoration of two surface cavities in premolars and permanent molar teeth. Only 24% of respondents were of the view that dental amalgam should continue to be used freely, but not because of environmental or mercury toxicity concerns. In applying minimum intervention dentistry approaches, repair rather than replacement was considered by most GDPs for the management of defective restorations, irrespective of the material forming the restoration. The provision of home-based, vital bleaching had increased since 2008, with tooth sensitivity being the most commonly reported, unwanted side effect. A small majority of respondents (54%) were of the view that facial soft tissue aesthetics should be considered the practice of dentistry. Rubber dam was widely used in endodontic procedures (85%) but not for other procedures. Rotary instrumentation was routinely used in root canal treatment by 88% of the respondents. A greater percentage of respondents indicated that they would use a preformed metal crown to restore primary molars either routinely or occasionally, compared to eight years ago (35% cf 23%). Over three quarters of the respondents had heard of the Hall crown technique, and 50% of them had used it to good effect in their practices. Conclusion Key aspects of general dental practice in the UK changed between 2008 and 2015, highlighting the dynamic nature of clinical practice and the scope of practice of dentistry. Studies of the type reported are considered important in investigating trends and developments in dentistry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-114
Number of pages5
JournalBDJ Team
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jan 2019


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