Root canal treatment in a population-based adult sample: Differences in patient factors and types of teeth treated between endodontists and general dentists

Academic Article


  • Objective: The purpose of this study was to identify in a population-based study the differences between general dentists and endodontists with regard to types of teeth treated, fees, and patient characteristics. Basic research design: The "Florida Dental Care Study" was a prospective cohort study using a representative baseline sample of 873 dentate adults. In-person interviews and clinical examinations were conducted at baseline, 24 months, and 48 months, with 6-monthly telephone interviews between those times. Dental record information was abstracted afterward. Results: A total of 100 root canals were performed in participants during the study period. While generalists performed the majority of endodontic procedures in all teeth, the percentage of molars treated by endodontists was significantly higher than the percentage of anterior teeth and bicuspids treated by endodontists. Data on fees were available in 85 of the cases. The trend was for endodontists fees to be higher, but the difference in fees was statistically significant only for molars. There were no statistically significant differences between generalist and specialist patients with regard to income, fear of pain, and frustration from previous dental care. However, a significantly higher percentage of patients treated by endodontists had dental insurance. Conclusions: Although the number of teeth ultimately treated in this representative sample of a dentate population was small, results do suggest that endodontists' fees were higher, they performed a higher percentage of molar root canals, and their patients were more likely to have dental insurance, as compared to general dentists who did root canals. © BASCD 2006.
  • Published In

    Author List

  • Tilashalski KR; Gilbert GH; Boykin MJ; Shelton BJ
  • Start Page

  • 21
  • End Page

  • 25
  • Volume

  • 23
  • Issue

  • 1