Norwegian and Finnish dentists’ current use and knowledge of stainless steel crowns
OSLO, Norway/HELSINKI, Finland: Stainless steel crowns are recommended for restorative treatment in young patients with teeth severely affected by caries, fractures or dental developmental disorders. However, despite these recommendations and clinical evidence, stainless steel crowns are not widely used by general dentists, who favour extraction and more conventional restorations. To shed light on the topic, researchers from the Oral Health Centre of Expertise in Eastern Norway in Oslo, the Nordic Institute of Dental Materials in Oslo and the University of Helsinki have investigated the views and use of stainless steel crowns among Norwegian and Finnish dentists.
An electronic questionnaire was sent to dentists, including dental specialists, in the public dental service in Norway in May 2018 and to members of the Finnish Dental Society in February 2019, asking whether they used stainless steel crowns and, if so, on which indications. In addition, the questionnaire assessed reasons for non-application, the dentists’ perception of advantages and challenges concerning their use, and the need for additional training. Of the respondents’ replies, 574 from Norway and 765 from Finland were selected for analysis.
The use of stainless steel crowns was reported by 12.0% of the Norwegian participants and by 12.9% of the Finnish participants. The most frequently reported advantage was that stainless steel crowns maintain function and occlusion, and the most frequently reported challenges were difficulties in adjusting the crown, followed by aesthetic issues. The majority of participants who did not use stainless steel crowns reported a lack of practical training as reason for the non-application. Hence, a need for more information and practical training was reported, with hands-on courses being the most frequently preferred education type.
The researchers noted that, even though Norwegian and Finnish dentists seem to understand the advantages of stainless steel crowns for restoring molars in young patients, they are an infrequent treatment choice among general dentists.
As the majority of respondents reported lack of training and were interested in receiving further education, the study authors stated that “more focus on [stainless steel crowns] in the curricula and more information and practical training of general dentists should be established”.
They added: “This may result in a higher confidence among dentists to use [stainless steel crowns] that ultimately may lead to an increased use of [them] when indicated.”
The study, titled “Stainless-steel crowns in children: Norwegian and Finnish dentists’ knowledge, practice and challenges”, was published online on 12 April 2021 in BMC Oral Health.