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Restorative intervention thresholds and treatment decisions of general dental practitioners in London

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Pav Chana, Michael C. Orlans, Saoirse O’Toole, Sophie Domejean, Sana Movahedi, Avijit Banerjee

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)727-732
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Dental Journal
Issue number8
Early online date25 Oct 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Oct 2019


King's Authors


Introduction Minimally invasive dentistry has been promoted as the contemporary approach to the operative management of dental caries. Operative intervention should be undertaken on cavitated lesions which are actively progressing. However, there may be large variability in the restorative intervention thresholds and care plans of general dental practitioners (GDPs). Aims To investigate restorative threshold and treatment decisions for occlusal and proximal carious lesions in a cohort of GDPs in London. To investigate potential differences based on number of years since graduation and attendance on a caries management course. Materials and methods A previously used, validated caries questionnaire was distributed to foundation dentists, general practice dentists and practising educational supervisors in NHS London dental practices. Results Two hundred and seventeen GDPs participated in the study. For occlusal lesions, nine (9.1%) newly-qualified dentists selected to intervene surgically on lesions confined to enamel, compared to 24 (29.8%) dentists who have been qualified for more than five years (p <0.05). In addition, a greater number of dentists who had attended a training course were more likely to do a minimally invasive preparation for a proximal lesion (38.2%), compared to 19.8% of those who had not (p <0.05). The majority of all participants (74.2%) chose to restore a proximal lesion using resin composite. Despite this material choice, 58.5% of those graduating within five years opted to prepare a traditional Black's class II cavity. Conclusion A practitioner's restorative intervention threshold and their choice of treatment appears to be negatively affected by the number of years post-qualification, and positively influenced by attending a caries management course.

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