Glass hybrid restoratives: cheaper and equally as effective as composites
The phase-down of dental amalgam through the Minamata Convention on Mercury means that it is necessary to identify a suitable alternative. Glass hybrid and composites are the leading candidates. A recent study compared the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of the two materials and found that glass hybrids showed similar efficacy and greater cost-effectiveness.
Researchers tested a modern glass hybrid material against an established composite for the restoration of two-surface occlusal–proximal cavities in molars in the load-bearing area. Patients with two molars in need of restoration participated in the randomised controlled clinical trial. In each, one restoration was completed using glass hybrid material and the other using composite material.
The materials were compared in each of the 180 patients and patients were followed up for a period of three years and examined by blinded investigators using FDI World Dental Federation criteria. A total of 21 patients (27 molars) required follow-up treatment owing to complications; however, the two materials were found to have limited differences in complication-free time. When comparing the cost-effectiveness of the two materials, the researchers concluded that composite was more expensive at limited clinical benefit.
“Using the data from each country, we can show that the initial treatment costs were much lower for glass hybrids than for composites in three of the four countries,” said Dr Falk Schwendicke, lead author of the study and Professor and Head of Oral Diagnostics and Health Services at Charité—Universitätsmedizin Berlin. The study, titled Cost-effectiveness of glass hybrid versus composite in a multi-country randomised trial, was published in the April 2021 issue of the Journal of Dentistry.
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