Endodontic teaching follows common concepts in the four Swiss dental schools. The aim of this survey was to ask former Swiss dental students how they adopted these endodontic concepts in clinical practice. All the graduates of the years 2012 and 2013 (n = 196) were targeted in 2018 using an internet-based anonymous questionnaire, which was based on five initial questions. One hundred forty-one individuals (participants) filled in these questions on their work situation and referral concepts (72% response rate). Those 111 participants who performed root canal treatments themselves were the focus group. They answered an additional 11 questions. Their affinity towards performing endodontic treatments was investigated. The use of rubber dam isolation served as a surrogate to see if biological principles were respected. Furthermore, it was asked which instrumentation systems they used in daily practice, and how they perceived the impact of their superior/employer on these choices. Of the 141 survey participants 55 were men and 86 women. Thirty-eight of these (27%) reported to refer difficult endodontic cases. Individuals in the focus group had an overall positive attitude towards endodontics. There was very little variance in the responses between the four Swiss dental schools. The vast majority (86.5%) reported to use rubber dam routinely. More than half in the focus group used reciprocating systems, and only a few (22.5%) would still use the rotary system they were taught at university. There was a significantly (p < 0.05) higher perceived impact of the employer on choice of instrumenting system versus the use of rubber dam.
What happened to our former students five to six years after graduation? An endodontic teacher’s perspective
The aim of this survey was to ask former Swiss dental students how they adopted these endodontic concepts in clinical practice.