To evaluate patient satisfaction and quality of life after primary root canal treatment—as well as the association between the level of clinicians’ training and experience on these parameters—Hamasha and Hatiwsh from Jordan University of Science and Technology studied a random sample of 302 patients undergoing root canal treatment. Patients received treatment from either an undergraduate dental student, a graduate dental student or a faculty member and were interviewed before and 2 weeks after completion of root canal treatment. The study utilized the Oral Health Impact Profile (OHIP) questionnaire and 7 semantic differential scales.
The authors found a noticeable improvement in the quality of life after root canal treatment. Satisfaction with the time required for root canal treatment revealed that patients were significantly more satisfied with the rapid treatment provided by specialist and graduate students than with that provided by undergraduate students (p < .05). More than 90% improvement postoperatively was noted for pain, eating and difficulty relaxing.
Satisfaction with root canal treatment was not associated with age, gender or smoking status. Patients with higher incomes were more satisfied with the root canal treatment and felt their treatment was more pleasant than were those with lower incomes (p < .05).
Patients receiving root canal treatment for their anterior teeth reported a higher rating for semantic differential scores in the items of postoperative aesthetic and time involved compared with that related to treatment of posterior teeth (p < .05). On the other hand, satisfaction of chewing ability was higher for posterior teeth compared with that of anterior teeth (p < .05).
Adequately tapered root fillings yielded more improvement scores because of better cleaning and shaping, and fewer symptoms. Root canal treatment of teeth with vital pulps, in general, relieved acute symptoms (e.g., pulpitis), thus yielding better outcomes in terms of quality of life. Treatment of teeth in patients exhibiting poor oral health, including gingivitis or missing teeth, may generate better treatment outcomes and thus produce more improvement in their quality of life.
The impact of root canal treatment on quality of life was significant. More than 90% of patients reported improvement in OHIP after root canal treatment. Using the 7 scales of satisfaction, endodontic specialists generated higher satisfaction rates.