Aim To study the outcomes for restored primary molar teeth; to examine outcomes in relation to tooth type involved, intracoronal restoration complexity and to the material used.
Materials and methods Design: Retrospective study of primary molar teeth restored by intracoronal restorations. A series of restored primary molar teeth for children aged 6-12 years was studied. The principal outcome measure was failure of initial restoration (re-restoration or extraction). Three hundred patient records were studied to include three equal groups of primary molar teeth restored with amalgam, composite or glass ionomer, respectively. Restorative materials, the restoration type, simple (single surface) or complex (multi-surface) restoration, and tooth notation were recorded. Subsequent interventions were examined. Data were coded and entered into a Microsoft Excel database and analysis undertaken using SPSS v.18. Statistical differences were tested using the chi(2) test of statistical significance.
Results Of the 300 teeth studied, 61 restoration failures were recorded with 11 of those extracted. No significant differences were found between outcomes for upper first, upper second, lower first or lower second primary molars. Outcomes for simple primary teeth restored by intracoronal restorations were significantly better than those for complex intracoronal restorations (P = 0.042). Teeth originally restored with amalgam accounted for 19.7% of the 61 failures, composite for 29.5%, while teeth restored with glass ionomer represented 50.8% of all restoration failures. The differences were significant (P = 0.012).
Conclusions The majority (79.7%) of the 300 restored primary teeth studied were successful, and 3.7% teeth were extracted. Restorations involving more than one surface had almost twice the failure rate of single surface restorations. The difference was significant. Significant differences in failure rates for the three dental materials studied were recorded. Amalgam had the lowest failure rate while the failure rate with glass ionomer was the highest.