How well do fourth year Wits Dental Students place resin composite restorations?

Lightfoot, J.
Clarke, F. M.
Grossman, E. S.
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OBJECTIVES:To evaluate, by means of a scanning electron microscope (SEM) the quality of resin composite restorations, placed as a first attempt by fourth-year dental students. METHODS: Ten Class IV direct composite restorations, placed in plaster-mounted extracted incisor teeth as part of pre-clinical course requirements, were selected. Specimens were evaluated and graded on a two-point scale by a staff member according to departmental clinical evaluation criteria. Five restored teeth were prepared for surface evaluation of marginal integrity, surface roughness and contour using SEM. The remaining specimens were embedded in resin and ground down transversely, parallel to the incisal edge until a dentine core was apparent. The ground surfaces were polished, prepared for SEM and assessed for etched layer, placement of bonding agent, composite adaptation and overall consistency. RESULTS: Clinical assessment and SEM surface evaluation correlated favourably for all criteria, except contour, indicating that students were reasonably competent in finishing techniques. Ground samples revealed acceptable etched enamel layers and marginal adaptation. Bonding agent thickness varied between 0 and 200 microns casting doubt on procedural accuracy. Porosities and voids were apparent within the resin composite. Internal features were the main reason for unsatisfactory grades. CONCLUSIONS: Students placed restoration satisfactorily. They would benefit if able to examine sectioned restorations to understand critical placement techniques which would contribute to resin composite restoration success. A research component can be introduced into the dental undergraduate curriculum by way of similar projects linked to didactic course-work.
Students, Dental , Composite Resins , Dental Restoration, Permanent , Education, Dental
Lightfoot,J,. Clarke,F,M., Grossman,E.S.2003.How well do fourth year Wits Dental Students place resin composite restorations?.Journal of the South African dental association;58(2):56-61