The most common restorative materials used in dentistry are amalgam and composite. Amalgam is a controversial material owing to its mercury toxicity. With recent advances in the properties of composite materials, there has been a shift towards its use.


The aim of this study was to understand the perceptions of undergraduate dental students in a northern Saudi Arabian dental school about the choice of restorative materials for restoring posterior teeth.


The study included undergraduate students studying in 4th and 5th year dental program in College of Dentistry, Jouf University. A four-item questionnaire with 18 close-ended questions was developed by the investigators, which were hand delivered to all the students. Data analysis is presented through tables and descriptive methods.


A total of 98 (out of 131) undergraduate students participated in this study. Overall, the students reported a significantly strong influence of the type of restorative materials in relation to the cavity size and margin of the restorations along with the esthetics factor(p<0.05). There was slight influence on the student’s choice because of the instructor's influence, whereas the students felt they were knowledgeable and had appropriate training to use either amalgam or composite. The study also found that patient’s preference had a strong influence on choosing composite material. The students were mostly not influenced while choosing the material as far as the safety of it was concerned. However, the patient’s influence was slight when it came to the choice of the material. A significant difference was noted among the students when it came to pregnancy-related safety concerns where the choice of material was not influenced by either amalgam or composite (p=.002).


The undergraduate dental students at College of Dentistry, Jouf University are comfortable in using both amalgam and composite as a posterior restorative material. They are knowledgeable about both the materials and are adequately trained to use either one.

Keywords: Amalgam, Composite, Dental, Posterior, Restoration, Materials.
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