University of Oulu

Pesonen, R.; Tanner, T.; Käkilehto, T.; Oikarinen-Juusola, K.; Laitala, M.-L.; Anttonen, V. Usefulness of an Endodontic Case Difficulty Assessment Form of Root Canal Treatments in Dental Education in Finland. Dent. J. 2021, 9, 118.

Usefulness of an endodontic case difficulty assessment form of root canal treatments in dental education in Finland

Saved in:
Author: Pesonen, Reetta1; Tanner, Tarja1,2; Käkilehto, Taina3;
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Oral Health Sciences, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 5281, 90014 Oulu, Finland
2Medical Research Center, Oulu University Hospital, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 5281, 90014 Oulu, Finland
3Dental Teaching Unit, 90220 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.2 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-12-09


According to current care guidelines, it would be beneficial to evaluate the difficulty of a root canal treatment (RCT) after the decision of an indicated RCT. For this matter, several difficulty assessment forms have been developed. In this pilot study, fifth-year dental students evaluated the usefulness of the Endodontic Case Difficulty Assessment Form (ECAF) presented in the Finnish Current Care Guidelines for Endodontic Treatment (2014). Another aim was to postoperatively investigate how well the evaluation by dental students using the ECAF associated with the outcome of RCT evaluated by a specialist in endodontics. The dental students’ (n = 33) and the supervisor’s assessments of the RCTs were compared postoperatively at the Dental Educational Unit, Oulu, Finland. After completing the ECAF, the students’ experiences of its use were explored with a structured form. In ECAF, patient-derived factors, such as gagging, deviant crown morphology, and complications in previous endodontic treatment, were all significantly associated with complications in RCTs by the dental students (p < 0.05). The assessments by students and the supervisor differed in 55% of cases, especially in moderately difficult cases. In the majority of these cases (71%), the students evaluated the case to be easier than the teacher. Students found the ECAF user-friendly, even if it did not demonstrate their competence in accomplishing RCTs. The ECAF appears useful for junior dentists, specifically in terms of distinguishing the least and most difficult cases. A simpler form could be useful for students and clinicians.

see all

Series: Dentistry journal
ISSN: 2304-6767
ISSN-E: 2304-6767
ISSN-L: 2304-6767
Volume: 9
Issue: 10
Article number: 118
DOI: 10.3390/dj9100118
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 313 Dentistry
Copyright information: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (