To identify and quantify the reasons for placing restorations on unrestored permanent tooth surfaces and the dental materials used by Dental Practice-Based Research Network (DPBRN; www.DentalPBRN.org) dentists.
A total of 229 DPBRN practitioner-investigators collected data on 9,890 consecutive restorations from 5,810 patients. Information included: (1) reasons for restoring; (2) tooth and surfaces restored; and (3) restorative materials employed.
Primary caries (85%) and non-carious defects (15%), which included abrasion/ abfraction/ erosion lesions and tooth fracture, were the main reasons for placement of restorations. Restorations due to caries were frequently placed on occlusal surfaces (49%), followed by distal, mesial, buccal/facial, lingual/palatal, and incisal surfaces. Amalgam was used for 46% of the molar and 45% of the premolar restorations. Directly placed resin-based composite (RBC) was used for 48% of the molar, 49% of the premolar, and 92% of the anterior restorations.
Dental caries on occlusal and proximal surfaces of molar teeth are the main reasons for placing restorations on previously unrestored tooth surfaces by DPBRN practitioner-investigators. RBC is the material most commonly used for occlusal and anterior restorations. Amalgam remains the material of choice to restore proximal caries in posterior teeth, although there are significant differences by DPBRN region.