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Objective/Aims: During dental visits, patients spend the majority of their time with their dental hygienist. At these recall appointments the patient’s face-to-face time with the dentist may be short. At this part of the appointment the dentist may diagnose the need for restorative treatment for the patient. Part of the hygienist’s responsibility is to explain treatment options for teeth with restorative needs. The purpose of this review of literature is to provide both options for restoration of dentition to a functional/aesthetic state.

Methods: Studies pertaining to the topic were searched using PubMed database. Keywords used in the search were amalgam, composite, restoration, replace, repair, and contraindications.

Results: Of the references received multiple outcomes has been recorded. Research shows that when it comes to composite restorations generally doctors will replace them in order to get an accurate color shade to match the patient’s teeth. In regards to posterior teeth there are multiple risk factors for repairing amalgam such as endodontic involvement and denture care.

Conclusion: Due to the positive results of both repairing and replacing restorations, it ultimately comes down to a patient to patient basis. Practitioners must also take into consideration risk factors that the patient may present with, cost association/coverage, and patient preference. It is responsibility of the dental hygienist to inform patients of these variables regarding their restorative treatments so they may make an informed decision.

Publication Date



repair, replace, amalgam, composite, restoration, dental hygiene, dentistry, versus, dental materials


Dental Hygiene | Dental Materials

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Dr. Joan Pellegrini

Dental Hygiene Student Scholarship

Date of Submission

April 2019

To Repair or Replace: That Is The Restorative Question