Abstract: Aim Dental restorations have long been used for the management of early childhood caries, but there is a need to have an evidence based approach when selecting the most appropriate restorative intervention to treat dentin caries in preschool children. This systematic review aimed to assess the effectiveness of restorative treatments of dentin caries in primary teeth in preschool children.
Materials and methods Design: A systematic search of the main electronic databases (Pubmed, Cochrane Collaboration, EMBASE) was conducted to identify peer reviewed papers published in English in the years 1947-2014. Search keywords and MeSH headings were “dental caries”, “primary dentition” and “dental restoration”. The inclusion criteria were clinical studies conducted in children under 6 years old, and reported findings on the longevity or failure of restorations in primary teeth. Retrieved papers were read by two reviewers independently to assess suitability for inclusion, and the final decision was made by consensus. The quality of the included studies was assessed and data were extracted for analysis.
Results The search identified 348 papers for screening. Among these, 218 papers did not satisfy the study inclusion criteria. Consequently, 130 full papers were retrieved and reviewed. Finally, 9 papers were included. Most of the trials were assessed as having high risk of bias. Five included studies that compared the success rates of restorations with different filling materials and liner materials. Two studies showed clinical advantages of using minimally invasive approaches in caries removal and cavity preparation. The other two trials showed low success rates of interim GI restorations done in a field setting, compared to the high caries arrest rates of silver diammine fluoride application.
Conclusion Within the limitation of this systematic review, there is insufficient evidence to make recommendations regarding which material and technique is the most appropriate for restorative treatment in young children. Minimally invasive approaches are advantageous in operative caries management in primary teeth in preschool children. More well-designed randomised controlled trials are required to confirm these findings.