Sealing caries in primary molars: randomized control trial, 5-year results

N. P. T. Innes (Lead / Corresponding author), D. J. P. Evans, D. R. Stirrups

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    165 Citations (Scopus)


    The Hall Technique (HT) is a method for managing carious primary molars. Decay is sealed under preformed metal crowns without any caries removal, tooth preparation, or local anesthesia. The aim of this study was to compare HT clinical/radiographic failure rates with General Dental Practitioners' (GDPs) standard (control) restorations. We conducted a split-mouth, randomized control trial (132 children, aged 3-10 yrs, GDPs n = 17) in Scotland. There were 264 study teeth with initial lesions, 42% of which were radiographically > half-way into dentin, and 67% of which had Class II restorations. Teeth were randomized to HT (intervention) or GDPs' usual treatment (control). Annual clinical/radiographic follow-up data were recorded. Ninetyone patients (69%) had 48 months' minimum follow-up. At 60 months, 'Major' failures (irreversible pulpitis, loss of vitality, abscess, or unrestorable tooth) were recorded: HT, 3 (3%); control restorations, 15 (16.5%) (p = 0.000488; NNT 8); and 'Minor' failures (reversible pulpitis, restoration loss/wear/fracture; or secondary caries): HT, 4 (5%); control restorations, 38 (42%) (p < 0.000001; NNT 3). Overall, there were follow-up data for 130 patients (2-60 mos): 'Major' failures: HT, 3 (2%); control restorations, 22 (17%) (p = 0.000004; NNT 7); and 'Minor' failures, HT, 7 (5%); control restorations, 60 (46%) (p < 0.000001; NNT 3). Sealing in caries by the Hall Technique statistically, and clinically, significantly outperformed GDPs' standard restorations in the long term (Trial registration no. ISRCTN 47267892).

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1405-1410
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Dental Research
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


    • Caries
    • Primary teeth
    • Restoration
    • General dental practice
    • Hall Technique
    • Sealing caries
    • Partial removal
    • Carious dentin
    • Restorations
    • Children
    • Fate


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