Many investigators have reported minimal wear of resin restorations in primary molars. Until recently, quantitative wear assessments have not been reported. The purpose of this investigation was (1) to present and contrast data from two 48-month clinical trials wherein quantitative wear assessments were used to evaluate wear of resin restorations in primary molars, and (2) to compare these results with those using the USPHS method of wear assessment. The data were collected from two different clinical trials. One was conducted at the University of California in San Francisco by Tonn and Ryge (TR Trial). The other was conducted at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill by Oldenburg, Vann, and Dilley (OVD Trial). The OVD Trial had a sample size of 45 patients with 106 restorations; the TR Trial had 44 patients with 96 restorations. The restorations in both trials were Class I and II restorations in occlusion. They were placed with the experimental light-cured posterior composite resin F-70, later marketed as Ful-Fill®. At baseline, six, 12, 24, 36, and 48 months, restorations were evaluated by two evaluators trained in USPHS criteria as well as by a quantitative method of wear assessment, the standard cast technique as described by Leinfelder. Interstudy comparisons were made by Chi-square tests (USPHS evaluations) and ANOVA (quantitative assessments). The results showed that resin restorations in primary molars exhibited progressive wear with time in service. The rate and quantity of wear were very similar to those seen in permanent posterior teeth over 36 months. Findings agree with previous reports that the USPHS evaluation criteria are insensitive in detecting early wear in primary molars.
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