Endodontic retreatment strategies used by general dental practitioners

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PurposeRoot-filled teeth with persistant periapical radiolucencies are often classified as endodontic failures. Studies have shown that general dental practitioners (GDP) do not consistantly suggest retreatment of “failures.” The “Praxis Concept” (PC) theory hypothesizes that dentists conceive periapical health and disease as different states on a continuum. This study examined endodontic retreatment concepts among 157 GDPs from Värmland, Sweden.Study designIn 6 simulated cases the periapical condition, quality of root filling and presence of a root canal–retained post were systematically varied. Five options were offered: no therapy, wait and see, nonsurgical retreatment, surgical retreatment, and extraction.ResultsThe investigation showed large interindividual variation in retreatment behavior among the GDPs. Only 9 dentists (6%) where found to repeatedly suggest retreatment of endodontic failures. A majority of GDPs (79%) performed in accordance with PC.ConclusionsThe data indicate that several retreatment decision rules are used by Swedish GDPs, but PC-derived strategies attract the majority.

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