Study Patterns of Referring to Root Canal Treatment Professionals by General Dental Practitioners
Author(s): Parnian Alavi Nejad, Mahbubeh Fathi, Rezvan Khodadad Nejad, Mehdi Jamili Nejad
General dental practitioners act as gatekeepers for specialist dental care because they generally decide whether, when, and where to refer patients for specialist care. As such, they play a central role in the referral process. The aim of this study was to evaluate the referral patterns of general dentists to endodontics in Dezful city. Materials and Methods: This descriptive epidemiologic study was performed on all general dentists in Dezful city. The questionnaire was designed by the researcher and based on previous studies. The questionnaire consisted of two sections: demographic information (age, sex, and work history) and 32 questions about the conditions under which general dentists refer patients to an endodontics. The data were analyzed by SPSS software after collecting questionnaires. Descriptive statistics, Chi-square, Fisher test and Pearson correlation coefficient were used for data analysis. The significance level was considered to be P <0.05. Results: The mean (SD) age of dentists in this study was 34.96 (5.782) years with a minimum of 26 and a maximum of 52 years. In the present study, 30.1% dentists were female and 69.9% were male. The mean (SD) of the working experience of dentists in this study was 7.61 (4.917) years, with a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 22 years. The most frequent referrals were as follows: apical surgery for mandibular anterior teeth 49.5%, apical surgery of maxillary anterior teeth 47%, and root canal treatment of premolar or corneal molars with cruve angle of 20-40, 32%. Female dentists referred more cases to endodontists than male dentists (P<0.05). With increasing age and work experience, dentists participating in the study are more likely to do so than referral (P<0.05). Conclusion: The result of this study showed that referral system is not well-managed, and most 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.