Management of defective dental Amalgam restorations-a mixed-methods study
Much variation exists in the practice of dentistry with regard to the diagnosis of caries and the recommendations for treatment. Even though criteria for the selection of 'faulty' restorations often appear ill-defined, subjective and/or variable restoration replacement is a major component of dental practice in developed countries (Brennan and Spencer, 2006). While the prevalence of caries is decreasing in developed countries, low- and middle-income countries are experiencing an increase. The investigation of factors influencing the clinical decision-making process has identified and compared the roles of technical (e.g. oral health factors), patient and dentist factors (Brennan and Spencer, 2006; Bader and Shugars, 1995a; 1995b). A recent trend for a more conservative approach to restorative dentistry has led to the alternative management of defective dental restorations. Repair and refurbishment of defective dental restorations have been established as viable options. The purpose of this study was to provide information regarding the practices, knowledge and attitudes of South African dentists with regard to the management of defective dental amalgam restorations.