STATEMENT OF PROBLEM: Volume of tooth structure replaced by an existing restoration, as assessed by visual and radiographic examination, is one diagnostic measure used by dental practitioners and dental insurance agencies to determine the relative need to restore a tooth with a full-coverage cast restoration. However, use of these methods has not been validated. PURPOSE: This study compared the volume of a range of dental amalgam restorations placed in typodont teeth, as estimated by dentists, dental students and laypersons, with the actual volume of each restoration. METHODS AND MATERIAL: Sixty subjects (20 dental school faculty, 20 dental students, and 20 clerical staff [laypersons]) participated. After reviewing photographic images of typodont teeth with mesial-occlusal-distal dental amalgam restorations, subjects estimated the volume of each restoration using various restorations on different teeth as a percentage of its tooth's coronal volume. The actual volume of each dental amalgam restoration and that of the coronal portion of the prepared teeth was calculated with a volumetric displacement technique. The single sample 2-sided t test with a.05 level of significance was used to evaluate the null hypothesis (H0 ): The survey participant's estimates of each restoration's percentage volume are the same as the measured volume values versus the alternative hypothesis (H1 ): estimates differed from the measured volume values. One-way analysis of variance was used to determine the significance of any difference between the estimates of the 3 survey test groups. RESULTS: Average volumes reported by all 3 groups were significantly different than the measured volume values (P <.05). Experience and dental training did not significantly affect a participant's ability to evaluate restoration volumes with greater accuracy. Results reported by dentists, dental students, and laypersons were not significantly different (P >.05). CONCLUSIONS: The volume of a restoration is inaccurately assessed by visual and radiographic examination.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Oral Surgery