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Use of Coolant for High-speed Tooth Preparation: A Survey of Pediatric Dentistry Residency Program Directors in the United States

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Purpose: To determine current teaching policies regarding the use of coolant type during tooth preparation with high-speed hand-pieces in pediatric dental residency programs in the US. Methods: A 17-question survey was electronically mailed to 63 program directors with one follow-up. Multiple-choice questions asked about school and program teaching of cavity preparation with or without water coolant, including hypothetical clinical situations. Results: Fifty-two (83%) program directors returned the survey. Fifty-two percent taught both dry and water coolant methods, 6% taught dry cutting exclusively, and 42% did not teach the dry method and always used water coolant. Dry techniques were used primarily for special needs patients with poor swallow reflexes (50%) and for young children undergoing sedation (41%). Air coolant was taught more frequently in programs in the Midwest (77%) and South (85%) vs. the Northeast (32%) and West (50%) (P<.01). Forty-four percent of combined programs and 60% of hospital programs taught water spray use exclusively, while all university programs taught the dry cutting technique (P<.01). Conclusions: A majority of program directors teach the use of air coolant alone for high-speed preparation of teeth. University and combined programs were more likely to teach the method compared with hospital based ones.
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Keywords: COOLANT; DENTAL HANDPIECES; EDUCATION; RESTORATIVE DENTISTRY

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: American Board of Pediatric Dentistry; Department of Pediatric Dentistry, UMDNJ-New Jersey Dental School, Newark, NJ; Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Hebrew University—Hadassah School of Dental Medicine, Jerusalem, Israel; Dentist in private practice, Jerusalem, Israel 2: American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and is a dentist in private practice in North Liberty, Iowa 3: American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and is a dentist in private practice in Las Vegas, Nev 4: Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Hebrew University—Hadassah School of Dental Medicine, Jerusalem, Israel; Dentist in private practice, Jerusalem, Israel

Publication date: May 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • Pediatric Dentistry is the official publication of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and the College of Diplomates of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. It is published bi-monthly and is internationally recognized as the leading journal in the area of pediatric dentistry. The journal promotes the practice, education and research specifically related to the specialty of pediatric dentistry. This peer-reviewed journal features scientific articles, case reports and abstracts of current pediatric dental research.
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