Purpose: A questionnaire survey was recently undertaken among French dental students (FDSs) to investigate their practices, knowledge and opinions in various domains of minimal intervention (MI) in cariology. The present work focuses on management of deep carious lesions (DCLs).
Keywords: deep carious lesions, dental education, dental students, minimal intervention
Materials and Methods: The questionnaire was administered (Spring 2018) to all the fifth-year students of the 16 French dental schools. Descriptive analyses were performed.
Results: Among 1370 FDSs (response rate: 84.5%), hardness was the most commonly reported criterion for assessing the endpoint of carious tissue removal (53.9%), followed by firm dentin (40.0%). Regarding FDSs’ opinion of leaving carious dentine under a restoration, 41.9% of the respondents agreed that carious tissues should always be removed completely. For an asymptomatic tooth with DCLs and exposed pulp, direct pulp capping was mainly chosen (93.9%). In a clinical case correctly diagnosed as a reversible pulpitis by 79.7% of respondents, nearly half of FDSs chose a one-step complete excavation (48.3%) followed by selective excavation (25.1%), then two-step complete excavation (20.9%) and a minority (5.7%) opted for pulpal therapy (biopulpotomy or endodontic treatment).
Conclusion: The present results suggest an inadequate dissemination of MI concepts among FDSs towards DCL management. The present results show the need for a harmonisation and a reinforcement of teaching evidence-based MI according to the latest European recommendations.