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The teaching of posterior composites: A survey of dental schools in Oceania

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Carolina Loch, Yuwen Liaw, Atikah Pg Metussin, Christopher D Lynch, Nairn Wilson, Igor R Blum, Paul A Brunton

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-43
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Dentistry
Publication statusPublished - May 2019

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

King's Authors


OBJECTIVE: To investigate current teaching and operative techniques of posterior composite restorations in dental schools in Oceania (Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Papua New Guinea).

METHODS: A 24-item validated questionnaire including closed and open questions was mailed to the Heads of Department of Operative/Restorative Dentistry in 16 dental schools. Responses were compiled in Excel and analyzed.

RESULTS: The response rate of this study was of 94% (n = 15). All respondent schools taught the use of posterior composites for occlusal and occluso-proximal cavities in premolars and molars. The mean percentage of preclinical teaching devoted to composites was greater than for amalgam (39% vs 29%). This proportion was anticipated to be 3:1 for posterior composite/amalgam in five years' time. Most posterior restorations placed by students are composites (average 64%, ranging from 10 to 100%), with amalgam representing 19.5% of the restorations placed (ranging from 0%-50%). Slot-type cavities were the preparation techniques most commonly taught (80%) and most schools (67%) teach the mandatory use of rubber dam for moisture control. The most common contraindication to composite placement (67% of the schools) was a history of adverse reaction to composites. The phase down of teaching and use of amalgam in Oceania is expected to occur within 8-10 years.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite minimally invasive approaches becoming increasingly common worldwide, the use of amalgam is still taught in Oceania. Future studies should assess whether the clinical teaching of posterior composites is in keeping with material development and trends in mainstream dental practice.

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