International Arab Journal of Dentistry


With the current cascade of minimally invasive restorative dentistry, developing new caries removal techniques is progressing towards a more biological and conservative approach. As such, polymer bur has emerged as a self-limiting selective tool for caries removal.The aim of the present study was to assess the efficacy of polymer burs in comparison to hand excavators in caries removal in primary molars, and to assess the pain experienced by children while applying each method.Thirty carious primary molars fulfilling the inclusion criteria were selected in four- to nine-year-old children. Fifteen teeth were allocated to each of the two subgroups: Group I (control group) and group II (test group) in which carious dentine was removed with a sharp excavator or polymer bur, respectively.Efficiency of caries removal was numerically scored 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 using caries detector dye. Patient perception of the treatment procedure was measured using the “Wong-Baker Faces Pain Rating Scale”. Mann-Whitney U tests were conducted to analyze the differences in caries removal and pain indicator with an alpha level of 0.05 as a decision point for statistical significance.The statistical analysis showed that using a polymer bur was less efficient in complete caries removal in primary molars and inflicted higher pain scores compared to hand excavator method. In conclusion, polymer bur did not improve the efficiency of caries removal nor inflicted less pain compared to hand excavators in primary molars.