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Vol. 71, No. 6
ISSN: 1488-2159
June 2005


Class I and Class II Silver Amalgam and Resin Composite Posterior Restorations: Teaching Approaches in Canadian Faculties of Dentistry


• Dorothy McComb, BDS, MScD, FRCD(C) •

A b s t r a c t

A 10-question survey was mailed to the 10 Canadian faculties of dentistry to determine current approaches to teaching undergraduates about silver amalgam and resin composite for posterior restorations in adults and children. Responses were received from all 10 pedodontic programs and from 8 of the 10 operative and restorative programs. The use of silver amalgam and posterior composite for restorations of primary and permanent teeth is covered in the curricula of all dental schools, but the relative emphasis on the 2 materials varies.

In the operative and restorative programs, curriculum time devoted to silver amalgam is either greater than or equal to that devoted to posterior composite. Five of the 8 schools reported greater educational emphasis on silver amalgam for the permanent dentition; however, course directors noted that the preference among patients seen in clinics is tending toward composite restorations. Curricula appear designed to educate students about the optimal use of both materials.

Requirements for performance of restorations during training generally do not specify the type of material; these requirements range from 60 restorations to 250 surfaces. Five of the 8 schools conduct clinical competency tests with both materials. The responses from the pedodontic programs were more diverse. The proportion of curriculum time devoted to each type of material in these programs ranged from less than 25% to more than 75%. Five schools reported more emphasis on silver amalgam, 3 schools reported equal emphasis, and 2 schools reported more emphasis on posterior composite.

No clinical requirements were specified in any of the undergraduate pedodontic programs. Within some of the faculties, there were differences between the operative and restorative program and the pedodontic program with respect to emphasis on different materials for the posterior dentition.


MeSH Key Words: Canada; dental restoration, permanent/methods; schools, dental; teaching/methods
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