A comparison of dental restoration outcomes after placement by restorative function auxiliaries versus dentists
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OBJECTIVES: To compare the outcomes of restorations placed by restorative function auxiliaries (RFAs) with those placed by dentists. METHODS: Between July 1, 2007, and June 30, 2008, we matched 455 restorations placed by RFAs working at HealthPartners Dental Group with the same number placed by dentists. Restorations were matched by tooth number, American Dental Association procedure code, and patient age-group. RESULTS: Of 910 restorations, 17 (1.9 percent) had problems potentially related to the filling or crown placement during the first year. Problem rates were not significantly different (p = 0.33) for restorations placed by RFAs (1.3 percent, 6 of 455) and those placed by dentists (2.4 percent, 11 of 455). CONCLUSIONS: There was no significant difference in problem rates for restorations placed by RFAs versus those placed by dentists. This finding may free dentists to handle more difficult cases, alleviating some of the pressures of daily practice and meeting the need for improved access.
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