Background: Clinicians often encounter defective restorations and are faced with the difficult decision of whether to repair the existing restoration or replace it. Methods: An electronic survey on repairing or replacing defective restorations was developed to assess how clinicians are making these decisions and the technical aspects considered when making a repair. E-mails containing the survey link were sent to the American Dental Association Clinical Evaluators (ACE) Panel on August 14, 2019, and the survey remained open for 2 weeks. Nonrespondents were sent reminders 1 week after deployment. Results: Approximately 4 of every 5 respondents repair defective restorations. The top 3 conditions for making these repairs were noncarious marginal defects (87%), partial loss or fracture of the restoration (79%), and crown margin repair due to carious lesions (73%). Among respondents who repair defective restorations, almost all repair direct resin composite (98%), whereas approximately one-third do not repair the other restorative materials (that is, amalgam, glass ionomer, and fractured indirect all-ceramic crowns). Resin composite is used most often to repair resin direct composite restorations, and likewise, glass ionomer is used most often to repair glass ionomer restorations. Only 54% of respondents use amalgam to repair amalgam restorations. Surface treatments varied among the 3 available restorations types. Conclusions: Many dentists are actively making restoration repairs, but choosing clinical scenarios to make these repairs is material dependent. Practical Implications: The repair of defective restorations is an acceptable and more conservative alternative than restoration replacement, and its success depends on proper case selection, material, and technique.
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