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Video Presentation: Repair or Replace a Defective Restoration? Study Findings

This is the summary of the findings of the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network’s study on repair or replacement of defective restorations

Watch the video


Purpose of the Study

  • Determine whether dentists in practices in the Dental PBRN are more likely to repair rather than replace a restoration that they diagnose as defective.
  • Quantify the specific reasons for repairing or replacing restorations.
  • Test the hypothesis that certain dentist-, patient-, and restoration-related variables are associated with the decision between repairing and replacing restorations.

Study Findings

  • Dentists were more likely to replace rather than repair by a 3-fold difference.
  • Dentists who placed the original restoration repair that restoration if defective 32% of the time whereas dentists who did not place the original restoration choose to repair only 23% of the time.
  • Dentists who had 35 years or more since graduation from dental school were significantly less likely to repair defective restorations than dentists with more recent training. This finding is consistent with current educational curriculum.
  • Dentists were significantly more likely to repair defective restorations when the material in the original restoration was in both direct and indirect tooth-colored and gold material as opposed to restorations that were an amalgam material. This suggests dentists are getting away from amalgam.
  • The most common reason reported for repairing or replacing a defective restoration was secondary caries (44%) followed by fracture or loss of the restoration (35%).


  • Dentists in the Dental PBRN were more likely to replace than repair defective restorations.
  • Secondary caries was the main reason for which dentists chose to repair or replace existing restorations.
  • Certain dentists, patient-, and restoration-related variables were associated with dentists’ decisions to replace rather than repair defective restorations. 


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