Changing perceptions of the requirements of cavity preparations


Perceptions of the requirements of cavity preparations have changed over the years. These have had a significant effect on undergraduate teaching at the University of Bristol Dental School, an explanation of which may help general dental practitioners in their quest for information on this important aspect of dental practice. A method is described for teaching undergraduate dental students cavity preparation in caries-free teeth, based upon the position, shape and extent of imaginary carious lesions. Scale diagrams of teeth are used, on which imaginary caries at the amelodentinal junction has been marked. The students are instructed to apply the principles of cavity preparation to equivalent, but caries-free, teeth in the laboratory. 'Outline forms' and other predetermined cavity shapes are not taught. Dental practitioners may find it appropriate to apply similar thinking to cavities they prepare in everyday practice, in an endeavour to avoid the unnecessary removal of tooth tissue that would be better retained


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Elderton, R., Jenkins, C., Marshall, K. et al. Changing perceptions of the requirements of cavity preparations. Br Dent J 168, 30–32 (1990).

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