Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2011

Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Degree In

Dental Public Health

First Advisor

Warren, John J

First Committee Member

Levy, Steven M

Second Committee Member

Kolker, Justine

Third Committee Member

Qian, Fang


Dental caries is the main reason for placement and replacement of restorations (Keene, 1981). More than 60 percent of dentists' restorative time is spent replacing existing restorations. The replacement of restorations can result in a cavity preparation larger than its predecessor which leads to weakening of the remaining tooth structure (Mjör, 1993). Considering the traditional surgical dental caries management philosophy, it was based on "extension for prevention" and restorative material needs rather than on preserving the healthy tooth structure (Black, 1908). In the 1970s, the surgical dental paradigm began shifting to a new approach for caries management: Minimally Invasive Dentistry (MID). It was based on the medical model that prioritizes caries risk assessment, early caries detection, remineralization of tooth structure, and especially preservation of tooth structure through minimal intervention in the placement and replacement of restorations (Yamaga et al, 1972). The minimal intervention paradigm emphasizes use of adhesive restorative materials in order to minimize the size of cavity preparation (Murdoch-Kinch & McLean, 2003).

Hence, a cross-sectional study using an online survey instrument (30-item) was conducted among National Network for Oral Health Access (NNOHA) and American Association Community Dental Programs (AACDP) members. Besides demographics, the survey addressed the following items using a 5-point Likert scale: knowledge, attitudes and behavior concerning MID among general practitioners. Specific questions focused on practitioner and practice characteristics, previous training and knowledge of MID, knowledge use of restorative, diagnostic and preventive techniques and whether MID was considered to meet the standard of care in the U.S., which was the main outcome of the study.

Chi-square, Fisher's exact test, Wilcoxon rank-sum test, and two-Sample t-test were used to identify factors associated with beliefs that MID meets the standard of care. Overall, 86% believed MID met the standard of care for primary teeth, and 77% believed this for permanent teeth. The study found that those with more favorable opinions of fluoride to be more likely to believe MID met the standard of care, but no demographic or practice characteristics were associated MID standard of care beliefs.


Dental Public Health, Dentistry, Medical Approach in Dentistry, Minimally Invasive Dentistry, Operative Dentistry, Restorative Treatment


viii, 185 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 177-185).


Copyright 2011 Deise Oliveira