Minimally invasive removal of tooth-colored restorations: evaluation of a novel handpiece using the fluorescence-aided identification technique (FIT)



This study investigated the ability of the fluorescence-aided identification technique (FIT) facilitated by a novel handpiece to simplify the removal of tooth-colored composite restorations with water-cooled rotating instruments.

Materials and methods

Five undergraduate students and five dentists (6–14 years of professional experience) were asked to remove dental restorations in vitro using both the conventional technique (CT) and the fluorescence-aided identification technique. The FIT method was performed on teeth restored in addition to the fluorescent composite resin with the non-fluorescent (FIT1) and fluorescent (FIT2) bonding agent. CEREC scans were superimposed and three-dimensionally analyzed with the software OraCheck 2.13 with respect to the cavity surface area still covered with composite resin and the volume of the needlessly removed sound hard tissue. Additionally, the removal procedure was timed.


The FIT2 group showed the most promising results: the smallest cavity surface area covered by composite resin independent of the professional expertise, and for the dentist group, the smallest amount of removed sound hard tissue and the fastest removal.


Using the fiber optic of the handpiece for fluorescence excitation has been proven to be effective for performing the FIT, and therefore, to improve the removal of tooth-colored restorations.

Clinical relevance

This study is basic research to encourage the integration of fluorescence inducing light sources in dental treatment units by the manufacturers as a prerequisite for a simplified daily use of the FIT.

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We wish to express our sincere gratitude to the dental technician and hobby photographer, Klaus Engel (Dental laboratory Dentalteam Bast & Marquart GmbH), for his assistance in taking some of the pictures and video clips presented in this work.


The study was performed and funded by the Department of Conservative Dentistry, Periodontology and Endodontology, University Hospital Tübingen.

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Correspondence to Christian Klein.

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The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest. C. Meller declares being the intellectual author of the idea that led to the development of the fluorescence-realizing experimental bonding agent used in this study. No royalties, research grant, or commercial association with the VOCO GmbH or other parties were involved

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Klein, C., Babai, A., von Ohle, C. et al. Minimally invasive removal of tooth-colored restorations: evaluation of a novel handpiece using the fluorescence-aided identification technique (FIT). Clin Oral Invest 24, 2735–2743 (2020).

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  • Composite restoration
  • Removal
  • Fluorescence-aided identification technique
  • Intraoral scanner