An audit on technical quality of root fillings performed by undergraduate students
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AIM: To evaluate radiographically the technical quality of root fillings performed by undergraduate dental students and to assess whether students were exposed to an appropriate endodontic case mix during their clinical training.
METHODOLOGY: A retrospective audit was undertaken evaluating the clinical records of patients who underwent endodontic procedures during the period from September 2015 to June 2016 in the Dental School at Queen's University Belfast, UK. Two final year dental students were trained and calibrated to evaluate post-operative intraoral periapical radiograph of completed root canal treatments using specific assessment criteria. Data was presented as frequencies, percentage and mean ± standard deviation (SD). Comparisons of treatment outcomes between groups (posterior and anterior teeth) were calculated using Fisher's Exact Test and the level of significance was set at p<0.05. Intra- and inter-examiner reproducibility was assessed by Kappa statistics.
RESULTS: A total of 222 teeth and 381 canals were assessed and of those 253 (66%) of the root fillings were found to be acceptable in all the assessment parameters namely, taper, length and lateral adaptation of the root filling. Sub-analysis of individual root filling parameters revealed that 372 canals (97%) exhibited good taper, 275 canals (72%) were considered to be of an appropriate length, with 89 canals (23%) found to be underfilled and 17 canals (5%) overfilled. Overall 346 (91%) of canals had good lateral condensation. Students treated both single and multi-rooted teeth and there was no significant association between tooth type and the quality of root filling provided (p>0.05).
CONCLUSION: In the majority of the teeth treated by undergraduate students at Queen's University Belfast, the technical quality of the root filling was acceptable and students were exposed to an appropriate case mix for endodontic training. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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