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Cross-sectional study of endodontic treatment in an Australian population


Dr Peter Duckmanton, Sydney Dental Hospital, 2-14 Chalmers St, Surry Hills, NSW 2010, Australia. Email:


The quality and technical standard of Australian endodontic treatment is generally unknown. Two hundred and forty-three patients from a metropolitan dental hospital were radiographically assessed for quality of root canal therapy. Total teeth examined were 5647 with 499 teeth (8.84%) being root-filled. Teeth were scored using Ørstavik's Periapical Index. Periapical Index scores indicating a healthy periapical state were found in 392 root-filled teeth (78.56%) and those indicative of periapical disease in 107 root-filled teeth (21.43%). Of the 499 root-filled teeth, 149 (29.9%) were adequate in terms of length, with 120 teeth (80.5%) of these healthy. Three hundred and fifteen teeth (63.1%) were filled short with 271 (86.0%) classified as healthy. Thirty-five teeth (7.0%) were filled long with only one tooth (2.9%) in this category deemed healthy. Four hundred and fifty-nine teeth (92.0%) were adequate in density, with 365 teeth (79.5%) being healthy. Forty teeth (8.0%) showed inadequate density with 27 (67.5%) being healthy. One hundred and forty-five teeth (29.1%) were adequate in length and density with 117 teeth (80.7%) deemed healthy. A significant statistical correlation between root filling quality and periapical status was not found. Factors, such as the coronal restoration quality, should be further investigated.