Radiographic Assessment of the Quality of Root Canal Treatments Performed by Practitioners with Different Levels of Experience
Abdulrahman Mudaysh Bajawi1, Sharafi Abdullah AL-Sagoor1, Ahmed Abdullah Alhadi1, Mohammed Abdullah Alhadi1, Mahmoud Y. Almasrahi2, Nabiel AL-Ghazali3 and Mohammed M. Al-Moaleem4  

1General Dental Practitioner, Arar Specialist Dental center, Arar, Saudi Arabia.

2General Dental Practitioner, Poly clinic, Jazan, Saudi Arabia.

3Consultant of Prosthodontic, Suleiman Habib Hospital and Department of Prosthodontics, College of Dentistry, Aleppo University, Aleppo, Syria.

4Department of Prosthetic Dental Science, College of Dentistry, Jazan University, Saudi Arabia.

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Abstract: This retrospective cross-sectional study was conducted to radiographically evaluate the quality of root canal treatment (RCT) performed by practitioners with different levels of experience at the Arar Dental Center, North Region, Saudi Arabia. A total of 170 periapical radiographs of root canal fillings (RCFs) were used to assess the technical quality of 376 root canal performed by the practitioners at Arar Dental Center. The length of each RCF was categorized as acceptable, overfilled, and underfilled on the basis of their relationship to the radiographic apex and surrounding structures. The density and taper of the fillings were evaluated on the basis of the presence of voids and the uniform tapering of the fillings, respectively. Root canal obturation (RCOs) was compared between practitioners. Chi-square analysis was then conducted to determine significant differences between RCF length, density and tapering in different areas of dental arches, different canal positions, and different levels of practitioner experience. Of the total number of canals, 202 (53.7%) were found in males, and 219 (58.2%) were in the maxillary arch. A total of (267; 71%) of the RCFs were located in the posterior reign. All of the parameters of the RCFs significantly differed among various areas of dental arches, canal locations, and practitioners with different levels of experience (P < 0.001) except the RCO density between different arches (P = 0.137). The technical quality of RCFs performed at the Arar Dental Center was acceptable in 63% of all cases. The length of RCFs was acceptable in the majority of cases performed by consultants and specialists, but this parameter was acceptable only in 46.4% cases carried out by general dental practitioners (GDPs). The underfilling rates reported by GDPs (43.6%) were higher than those presented by consultants (13%) and specialists (18.8%). Almost all of the cases were acceptable in terms of density and tapering among all of the practitioners. The poor density and tapering qualities of RCFs were respectively found in 24.2% and 22.3% of the cases performed by GDPs. Evaluating the quality of RCTs delivered by practitioners in any dental service center offers vital information for health service authorities. This evaluation helps improve the trend in RCT services provided by endodontists with the aid of additional new endodontic equipment and materials. This study provides insights into relevant services in terms of the standards of care in endodontic treatment.

Keywords: Cross‑sectional Study; Density; Periapical Radiographs; Practitioners; Radiographic Assessment; Root Canal Treatment; Tapering

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