Evaluation of referral system to endodontists among a group of general dental practitioners

Zahra Tavakolinejad, Maryam Alsadat Hashemipour, Arash Shahravan, Azin Mirzadeh, Moghdeh Mansori, Saied Amirhossein Gandjalikhan-Nassab


BACKGROUND AND AIM: The primary providers of health services are general dental practitioners (GDPs), who must routinely do the diagnosis and treatment planning except in complicated cases. The present study evaluation of a referral system to endodontists among a group of GDPs in Iran.

METHODS: This descriptive study was performed on 620 Iranian general dentists. A questionnaire with an accepted validity and reliability was chosen. A self-administrated questionnaire including demographic characteristics, general and the special question was distributed among GDPs participating in the 52th International Congress of Dentistry in Iran by a senior undergraduate student. Data was analyzed with a chi-squared test using SPSS.

RESULTS: Female dental practitioners were more likely to refer the patients to the Endodontists than males (96.3 vs. 94.3% - P = 0.040). Canal obstruction was considered the most frequently factor (35.0% important and 60.0% very important) in making a decision to refer the case, followed by the presence of a perforation (40.0% important and 30.0% very important), complicated trauma (45.0% important and 35.0% very important), need for retreatment (40.0% important and 30.0% very important and the presence of a post-and-core in combination with a crown or bridge(30.0% important and 35.0% very important).

CONCLUSION: This survey showed that many Iranian dentists had a positive attitude toward referral system, although in some circumstances. This system is not well-managed, and the dentists prefer to perform the specialty procedures by themselves. Therefore, it is recommended that the case selection and treatment planning as much as to be taught to the dentists for the prevention of the issues in complicated cases.


Endodontics, Dentists, Root Canal Therapy

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