To compare root canal treatments performed before and after education in a nickel-titanium rotary technique (NiTiR) with respect to costs for instrumentation and number of instrumentation sessions in a County Public Dental Service in Sweden.
Following education, 77% of the general dental practitioners adopted completely the NiTiR. The randomly selected sample comprised 850 root canal treatments: 425 performed after the education, mainly using the NiTiR-technique (group A) and 425 performed before, using mainly stainless steel hand instrumentation (SSI) (group B). The number of instrumentation sessions in root canal treatments in group A and B was calculated. A CMA was undertaken on the assumption that treatment outcome was identical in group A and B. Direct costs associated with SSI and NiTiR were estimated and compared. Investment costs required for implementation of NiTiR were calculated, but not included in the CMA.
Instrumentation sessions were counted in 418 (98%) root canal treatments performed in group A and 419 (99%) in group B. The number of instrumentation sessions in group A was significantly lower; 2.38, compared with 2.82 in group B (P < 0.001). Thus, on average, for every second root canal treatment performed after the education, one instrumentation session was saved. Root canal treatments in teeth with one canal, and three or more canals, were completed in significantly fewer instrumentation sessions after the education (P < 0.001). Direct costs of instrumentation sessions were SEK 2587 (USD 411) for group A and SEK 2851 (USD 453) for group B, for teeth with one canal, and SEK 2946 (USD 468) for group A and SEK 3510 (USD 558) for group B, for teeth with three or more canals (year 2011). Root canal treatments of teeth with two canals showed no significant difference with respect to number of instrumentation sessions and costs.
Significantly fewer instrumentation sessions were required in group A, and root canal instrumentation therefore costs less than in group B. On the assumption that treatment outcome is identical in group A and B, root canal instrumentation performed after the education was more cost-effective.
2012. Vol. 45, no 7, 633-641 p.