Restorations after selective caries removal: 5-Year randomized trial

J Dent. 2020 Aug:99:103416. doi: 10.1016/j.jdent.2020.103416. Epub 2020 Jun 22.


Objective: To compare the survival of restorations placed in deep caries lesions after selective caries removal to soft dentin (SCRSD) over a 5-year period. A secondary aim was to investigate whether the material (amalgam or resin composite) affected the survival of restorations.

Methods: This study used data derived from a multicenter randomized controlled clinical trial (Clinical trials registration NCT00887952). Inclusion criteria were: patients with permanent molars presenting occlusal or proximal deep caries lesions (≥1/2 of the dentin thickness on radiographic examination), positive response to a cold test, absence of spontaneous pain, negative sensitivity to percussion, and absence of periapical lesions. The teeth were randomized into SCRSD and restoration in a single visit or stepwise excavation (SW). Each of these groups was divided according to the filling material: amalgam (AM) or resin composite (RC). Survival analyses were performed to estimate therapy success rates over 5 years (adjusted Weibull regression model).

Results: 172 restorations were evaluated, 95 from SCRSD group and 77 from SW group, being 61 AMG and 111 RC. The 5-year survival analysis showed similar success rates for SW (76 %) and SCRSD (79 %) as well as for AM and RC (p > 0.05).

Conclusion: This study showed that, after a 5-year follow-up period, the presence of decayed tissue beneath restorations in deep caries lesions did not seem to affect restoration survival. Amalgam and resin composite restorations had similar survival rates, irrespective of the caries removal technique used - SCRSD or SW.

Clinical significance: Selective caries removal to soft dentin can be used in the management of deep caries to avoid pulp exposure and preserve tooth structure without affecting restoration longevity.

Keywords: Amalgam; Dental caries; Permanent teeth; Resin composite; Selective caries removal; Survival analysis.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Composite Resins
  • Dental Caries* / diagnostic imaging
  • Dental Caries* / therapy
  • Dental Restoration Failure
  • Dental Restoration, Permanent*
  • Dentin
  • Humans
  • Molar / diagnostic imaging
  • Molar / surgery


  • Composite Resins

Associated data