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The Hall Technique 10 years on: Questions and answers

Key Points

  • Discusses the development and acceptance of the Hall Technique.

  • Provides information on where to find out more about the Hall Technique.

  • Reports an overview of high quality evidence from randomised control trials supporting use of the Hall Technique in day to day practice.


It is ten years since the first paper on the Hall Technique was published in the British Dental Journal and almost 20 years since the technique first came to notice. Dr Norna Hall a (now retired) general dental practitioner from the north of Scotland had, for many years, been managing carious primary molar teeth by cementing preformed metal crowns over them, with no local anaesthesia, tooth preparation or carious tissue removal. This first report, a retrospective analysis of Dr Hall's treatments, caused controversy. How could simply sealing a carious lesion, with all the associated bacteria and decayed tissues, possibly be clinically successful? Since then, growing understanding that caries is essentially a biofilm driven disease rather than an infectious disease, explains why the Hall Technique, and other 'sealing in' carious lesion techniques, are successful. The intervening ten years has seen robust evidence from several randomised control trials that are either completed or underway. These have found the Hall Technique superior to comparator treatments, with success rates (no pain or infection) of 99% (UK study) and 100% (Germany) at one year, 98% and 93% over two years (UK and Germany) and 97% over five years (UK). The Hall Technique is now regarded as one of several biological management options for carious lesions in primary molars. This paper covers commonly asked questions about the Hall Technique and speculates on what lies ahead.

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Figure 1: Series of three photographs showing a crown being fitted to tooth 84 (lower right 1st primary molar).
Figure 2: Radiograph of a 5-year-old child showing tooth 85 (lower right 2nd primary molar) with a mesial carious lesion and tooth 84 (lower right 1st primary molar) with a distal carious lesion extending into dentine.
Figure 3: The same child as Fig. 1.


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Correspondence to N. P. T. Innes.

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Innes, N., Evans, D., Bonifacio, C. et al. The Hall Technique 10 years on: Questions and answers. Br Dent J 222, 478–483 (2017).

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