Objectives: To identify potential changes in various aspects of teaching and to ascertain whether previously found inconsistencies in the teaching of criteria, indications and operative techniques for the repair of defective composite restorations at German dental schools have been resolved.
Methods: A validated questionnaire was used to gain the information sought. It was sent to all dental schools in Germany (n = 30). Whenever possible, data were compared to previous studies conducted in 2000 and 2009. Statistical analysis was performed using Fisher's exact tests (p < 0.05).
Results: Twenty-nine schools responded to the survey - a response rate of 97%. All respondents indicated positive experiences with the repair of restorations. The teaching of repairs in 2018 (90%) was found to be comparable to the findings from the 2009 survey (88%, p = 1.000), but significantly increased since the 2000 survey (50%, p = 0.006). Main reasons reported for teaching repairs are tooth substance preservation (97%) and reduction of pulpal damage (79%). Main clinical indications are marginal defects and secondary caries. When performing repairs, almost all dental schools were found to teach both mechanical and adhesive substrate surface conditioning. Marked variation was observed in the method of mechanical surface treatment, with air abrasion having gained widespread popularity. The average expected longevity of repairs was 7.4 +/- 3.0 years.
Conclusions: The teaching of the repair of resin composite restorations is widespread in dental schools in Germany. Aspects of this teaching were found to be more consistent between dental schools than in previous surveys, albeit variation in operative techniques still exists.
Clinical significance: Graduates from dental schools in Germany may be found to be well equipped with the knowledge and skills to perform repairs of defective resin based composite restorations in clinical practice.