Article : Preference and usage of intracanal medications during endodontic treatment

Ahmad A. Madarati, Muhammad S. Zafar, Aya M.N. Sammani, Ayman O. Mandorah, Hamzah A. Bani-Younes


Objectives: To investigate the preferences of general dental practitioners (GDPs) and endodontists in using endodontic intra-canal medications (ICMs). 

Methods: This observational and descriptive study was conducted in 2014 in the western province of Saudi Arabia. Following ethical clearance and 2 pilot studies, a web-based questionnaire was electronically sent to 375 randomly and systematically selected GDPs and all endodontists in the western province (n=49). An accompanying e-mail explained the study’s aims and confirmed that the data yielded would remain confidential. The responses were collected, and the data was analyzed using the Chi-square test at p=0.05.

Results: Significantly, the highest proportion of respondents (53.7%) reported disinfection of the root canals as the main function of ICMs. Calcium hydroxide (CH) was the preferred material of the majority of those who used the same ICM in all cases (85.7%). While the vast majority of all endodontists (87.5%) used CH after pulp extirpation, 48.5% of GDPs used formocresol (p less than 0.001). Almost 30% of those who used ICMs after pulp extirpation did not do so after cleaning and shaping of vital cases. Most endodontists used CH (62.5%) and antibiotics (37.5%) in necrotic pulp cases without apical lesions, which were significantly greater than those of GDPs who did the same (43.8% and 17.2%). 

Conclusions: Participants were aware that the main function of ICMs is disinfection of the root canal system. However, it is clear that GDPs should reduce their reliance on phenol- and formaldehyde-based medications. There was a distinct trend toward the use of ICMs, especially CH, in necrotic pulp cases.

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