AIM: To evaluate the opinions and practices of fresh graduate dentists in Nigeria with regards to single-visit root canal treatment.
METHODS: A questionnaire-based cross-sectional study of House Officers, information on the frequency of undertaking root canal treatment in the course of the posting, the average number of appointments needed to complete single-rooted teeth with single canals, teeth with two canals and teeth with three or more canals, their performance of single-visit root canal treatment in the course of their postings, and the factors influencing undertaking single-visit root canals was sought.
RESULTS: A total of 60 house officers agreed to participate in this study. For single-rooted teeth and teeth with two root canals, 48.3% and 55.0% of the respondents respectively stated that 3 visits were required while for teeth with three or more root canals, 43.3% of the respondents specified that 3 or more visits were required to complete the root canal treatment. Less than half (43.3%) of the respondents reported that they performed single-visit root canal treatment. The most commonly reported factor influencing the choice of performing single visit root canal treatment was the vitality of the tooth (34.6%), followed by the electiveness of the root canal treatment (30.8%) and the tooth with a single canal (23.1%) while the least reported factor was the cost of treatment (7.7%).
CONCLUSION: Single visit root canal treatment, though an acceptable alternative treatment procedure for endodontic problems, tends to be dependent on the pre-operative condition of a tooth. Fresh graduates who are conversant with this concept as part of their undergraduate curriculum are disposed to undertaking single visit root canal treatment in well-selected cases.