Endodontic Treatment Outcome: Survey of Oral Health Care Professionals

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Abstract

This study assessed the opinion of oral health care professionals regarding the predictability of initial endodontic treatment, expected long-term outcome and the importance of placing a coronal coverage after completion of treatment. An eight-item questionnaire was distributed among oral health care professionals. There were 49% of participants who responded that the expected retention rate of teeth 5 to 10 yr after endodontic treatment was more than 90%, whereas 44% responded that such retention rate was between 70 to 80%. The majority of the participants also responded that the need for additional treatment, such as retreatment, apical surgery or extraction, was expected to occur within the first 3 yr after endodontic treatment if initial treatment has failed. About 87% of participants responded that placing coronal coverage after completion of endodontic treatment in premolars and molars was very important for long-term tooth retention and 92% responded that overall, endodontic treatment was a predictable procedure with long-term tooth retention rate. Statistically significant associations were found between years of experience and expected rate of retention for both the total group of respondents (p < 0.001) and for general practitioners when examined separately (p < 0.002). Statistically significant associations were only found for general practitioners between years of experience and their responses regarding the need for additional treatment (p < 0.05) and overall predictability of endodontic treatment (p < 0.02). A trend was found between the professionals' years of experience and their opinion regarding the importance of coronal coverage. Of the group who had more than 20 yr of experience, about 87% considered coronal coverage to be very important for long-term tooth retention. In conclusion, it appears that most clinicians participating in this study consider endodontic therapy to be a predictable procedure with long-term tooth retention rate. Their opinions also reflect the variations that currently exist in the literature regarding the reported outcome of endodontic treatment.

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