Longitudinal results of a 10-year clinical trial of repair of amalgam restorations
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The aim of this prospective, blind, and randomized clinical trial was to assess the effectiveness of repair of localized clinical defects in amalgam restorations that were initially scheduled for replacement. A cohort of 20 patients with 40 (Class I and Class II) amalgam restorations that presented one or more clinical features that deviated from the ideal (Bravo or Charlie) according to US Public Health Service criteria, were randomly assigned to either the repair or the replacement group—A: repair, n = 19; and B: replacement, n = 21. Two examiners who had calibration expertise evaluated the restorations at baseline and 10 years after according to seven parameters: marginal occlusal adaptation, anatomic form, surface roughness, marginal staining, contact, secondary caries, and luster. After 10 years, 30 restorations (75%) were evaluated (Group A: n = 17; Group B: n = 13). Repaired and replaced amalgam restorations showed similar survival outcomes regarding marginal defects and secondary caries in patients with low and medium caries risk, and most of the restorations were considered clinically acceptable after 10 years. Repair treatment increased the potential for tooth longevity, using a minimally interventional procedure. All restorations trend to downgrade over time.