Minimally invasive management of dental caries: Contemporary teaching of posterior resin-based composite placement in U.S. and Canadian dental schools

Christopher D. Lynch, Kevin B. Frazier, Robert J. McConnell, Igor R. Blum, Nairn H.F. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

89 Scopus citations


Background: Resin-based composites are an increasingly popular material for restoring posterior teeth, permitting minimally invasive cavity preparations and esthetic restorations. The authors investigated current teaching of the placement of posterior resin-based composites in U.S. and Canadian dental schools. Methods: In late 2009 and early 2010, the authors, with the assistance of the Consortium of Operative Dentistry Educators (CODE), invited 67 dental schools to participate in an Internetbased survey. Results: The response rate was 73 percent. Although all schools taught the placement of resin-based composites in occlusal and most occlusoproximal cavities, eight schools (16 percent) did not teach placement of three-surface occlusoproximal resin-based composite restorations in permanent molars. Resin-based composites accounted for 49 percent of direct posterior restorations placed by dental students in 2009 and 2010, a 30 percent increase from 2005. Conclusions: Teaching placement of posterior resin-based composites continues to increase in dental schools in the United States and Canada, with predoctoral students gaining, on average, an equal amount of experience placing posterior resin-based composites and amalgams in terms of numbers of restorations. Clinical Implications: Evidence-based, up-to-date teaching programs, including those in operative dentistry, are needed to best prepare students for careers in dentistry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)612-620
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Dental Association
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011



  • Dental education
  • Dental students
  • Operative dentistry
  • Posterior resin-based composites
  • Resin-based composites
  • Restorations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)

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