Dental fillings are placed routinely in children who have tooth decay all over the world. It was disappointing to note that so few trials could be included into this review that sought to compare different dental fillings for the same type of outcome. More studies are required that will assist dentists and their patients to make informed decisions on the best type of dental filling to use in a particular situation. There is an urgent need in dentistry for well designed, randomised controlled trials to compare the different types of filling materials for similar outcomes. Methodological issues around study design, data presentation and statistical analyses of split-mouth and parallel group trials must be addressed by significantly improving adherence to CONSORT guidelines, and increasing collaboration between statisticians and investigators (clinicians and/or researchers) in all aspects of trial development, implementation, analyses and write-ups for publication. Recent publications have also highlighted the need for a standardized approach to evaluation criteria for fillings, outcomes, statistical tests, calibration, etc so that published evidence can be easily interpreted and collated in systematic reviews which is essential to guide clinical practice in an era of greater choices for both clinicians and patients.
Yengopal, V.; Harnekar, S. Y.; Patel, N.; Siegfried, N. Dental fillings for the treatment of early childhood caries. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2009) (Issue 2) Art. No.: CD004483. [DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004483]