The Identification of Composite Resin Restorations within Natural Teeth

  • Manal Aljadi

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Dental Science


Composite resin has become a very widely-used restorative material due to excellent physical and aesthetic properties. Unfortunately this makes visual detection more difficult. Restorations form a unique feature of an individual dentition. Therefore it is important to identify composite in conservative dentistry to avoid charting errors and reduce cavity enlargement during restoration replacement. Furthermore it is of great importance in forensic dentistry to be able to identify the presence of all restorations. A number of techniques have been used to identify composite restorations, including dyes, acid-etching, ultra-violet light (UVL), and Quantitave Laser Fluorescence (QLF). As enamel, dentine and composite resin all have different fluorescent properties, ultra-violet light (UVL) has been of particular interest as a method of detecting the presence of composite resin in teeth. The aim of this study was to assess the accuracy of normal vision, magnification loupes and UVL for identifying composite resin restorations. Forty one composite resin restorations were placed in 113 natural teeth mounted in four sets of models. These four sets were examined by 20 dental volunteers using the three methods. The data showed that optical diagnostic accuracy range from 31.6% for visual examination, 25% for magnification to 92% for ultraviolet light. The specificity range from 85% for visual examination and 89.7% for magnification to 99% for ultraviolet light. The results indicated that UVL is the most efficient method of those tested to detect composite resin restorations within the different surfaces of the tooth. It is recommended that UVL is used adjunctively to the ordinary clinical examination, and should be considered in forensic examinations where identification is paramonts.
Date of Award2017
Original languageEnglish
SponsorsGovernment of Kuwait
SupervisorAndrew Forgie (Supervisor) & Mervyn Lyons (Supervisor)


  • Composite resin
  • Composite resin restoration
  • Natural teeth

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