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J Dent Educ. 1992 Dec;56(12):812-22.

Decision analysis in restorative dentistry.

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Department of Dental Biomaterials, College of Dentistry, University of Florida, Gainesville 32610-0446.


Standardization of clinical decisions in restorative dentistry should be based on the tenets of the Hippocratic Oath. Although there is wide variability in preventive and operative treatment decisions, some of these decisions may lead along parallel courses to similar, clinically ethical outcomes. However, what parameters must be considered in judging the relative magnitude of positive and negative outcomes? This paper proposes several decision-making strategies for selecting optimum treatment plans for preventive and restorative situations. The caries-risk level of patients must first be identified in a systematic way and then it must be coupled with treatment options that are consistent with the potential future caries increment. A decision-tree approach and/or the treatment-index concept can then be applied to specific clinical conditions and preventive-restorative options to derive an "expected value" for each possible outcome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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