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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 369-374

Should South Africa train specialist endodontists? A cross-sectional online survey


1 Department of Odontology, School of Dentistry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
2 Department of Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery, School of Dentistry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Glynn Dale Buchanan
Department of Odontology, School of Dentistry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria University of Pretoria Oral Health Centre, 31 Bophelo Road, Prinshof Campus, Riviera, Pretoria, 0002
South Africa
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/sej.sej_238_20

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Introduction: Endodontics as an independent dental specialty exists in many regions worldwide, with training programs established in both developed and developing countries. Endodontic specialty training is, however, currently not available in South Africa. This study aimed to determine whether private dental practitioners, who perform clinical endodontic treatment, believed that South Africa should train specialist endodontists. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional, observational study was conducted. An online program was used to generate a survey which was electronically mailed to 3252 South African private dental practitioners. Quantitative and qualitative questions with open-ended responses were used. Topics included the following: demographic information, management/referral strategies regarding difficult endodontic cases, and need for endodontics as an independent dental specialty in South Africa. Data were analyzed using simple descriptive methods. Results: A total of 215 (n = 215/3252) responses were received by the closing date. The overall response rate was 7%. The valid responses of 193 participants were included (n = 193/215). The majority (83%, n = 160/193) of the respondents indicated the opinion that South Africa should train specialist endodontists. The reasons for this opinion were varied. Strategies in place for the management of difficult endodontic cases and existing endodontic referral pathways were additionally identified. Conclusion: There is a need to train specialist endodontists in South Africa.


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