Objectives: Clinical wear of restorations is generally evaluated by marginal integrity over time. In this study, both a subjective and an objective method for wear assessment are compared, and the relative advantages and disadvantages of each are considered. Methods: A surface evaluation technique for quantitative measurement of wear, as developed at the University of Minnesota (UMN) has been compared to the commonly employed method of wear assessment used by Leinfelder (LF). Measurements were made by comparing suitable casts of restored teeth before and after clinical function. Semi-quantitative wear assessment was studied in comparison with detailed quantitative information about the topology of the pre- and post-wear occlusal surfaces obtained from stylus profilometry and processed by imaging techniques. Fourteen model sets of baseline, 2, 3 and 5 year old Class II composite restorations from a Danish clinical trial were evaluated using both techniques. Results: In general, after 5 years of function, the digitizing method (UMN) generated wear values that were twice as high, indicating that general wear of restorative materials is underestimated by the LF-method. Conclusions: The comparison clearly revealed the advantages and limitations of each technique. Evaluation of wear by means of the LF technique provides global semi-quantitative data on restoration margins relative to enamel, underestimating general wear of the restorative material. Advanced 3-D measuring techniques such as the UMN method provide extensive quantitative data regarding wear patterns of the entire occlusal surface, i.e. restoration and enamel. Such a highly accurate technique is capable of differentiation between wear behavior of restorative materials early on in clinical studies. In addition, through its digital alignment procedure, the UMN method provides data on accuracy of the replication process used in clinical studies.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The assistance of Dr. M.A. van't Hof, Department of Medical Statistics, University of Nijmegen, for the data analysis was much appreciated. Parts of this study were supported by NIH grant number DE-09737.
- Clinical wear
- Digital techniques
- Posterior composite restorations