Author(s): Saunders WP, Chestnutt IG, Saunders EM
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To identify factors influencing the diagnosis and management of periradicular disease by general dental practitioners. DESIGN: The study was conducted in two stages. 1. Analysis of recent returns to the Scottish Dental Practice Board. 2. Data collection via a postal questionnaire distributed to 617 general dental practitioners in Scotland (33\% of practitioners registered with the Dental Practice Board). RESULTS: 417 (69\%) questionnaires were completed and returned. The majority of respondents undertook root canal treatment and the number of cases treated had increased in the last five years. The vast majority of the respondents (89.3\%) were confident in their diagnosis of periradicular disease and 77.1\% were confident of their treatment of the disease. A referral system for treatment was used by 31\% of respondents of whom the majority used a specialist in a hospital. Over 50\% of the respondents undertook surgical root canal treatment. Only 40\% of respondents followed up their completed cases for longer than six months. Constraints on the provision of treatment included the time available and the low level of fees. CONCLUSIONS: Current arrangements for the treatment of periradicular disease in general dental practice are less than optimal. The fiscal arrangements for the provision of these treatments must be developed to encourage a high standard of treatment to be performed thereby maximising the likelihood of success. In addition, efforts to inform patients of the benefits of the treatment of periradicular disease should be increased.
This article was published in Br Dent J
and referenced in Journal of Medical and Dental Research