The reasons for treating caries in the primary dentition are to prevent the spread of the bacteria, maintain space and prevent infections (in the form of an abscess or facial cellulitis).
Furthermore, carious teeth in children may result in pain, disrupt their quality of life and affect their overall development.
Therefore, proper management through the removal of dental caries and placing appropriate restorations is very important in children. The type of restoration placed on primary teeth is dictated by the extent and location of the carious lesion.
For instance, in cases with shallow mesial or distal caries in primary molars, a traditional class II preparation using composite resin, resin-modified glass ionomer cement or amalgam can be used.
Studies have shown that ideal class II preparations have a lower failure rate compared to slot preparations, resulting in better longevity of the restoration.
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However, many general dentists and parents do not prefer this treatment option. In a survey conducted by Threlfall et al (2005), 88 percent of general dentists prefer using a glass ionomer restorations for extensively carious molars in situations where pediatric dentists would place a SSC.
A study in Indiana concluded that SSCs are being significantly underutilized in the general dental practice.
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