Aim: To investigate the attitudes of general dental practitioners (GDPs) and endodontists in the UK towards management of fractured endodontic instruments. Methodology: A questionnaire was sent to 330 systemically selected GDPs and all endodontists working in the UK (170). It was accompanied by a covering letter explaining the aims of the study and indicating that all the information given would remain confidential. Those who did not respond to the first mailing were sent another two mailings. Data were analysed using chi-square test at P ≤ 0.05. Results: The overall response rate was 75%. Only 18.5% of respondents reported that they would retrieve instruments located in the apical third of root canals with a significantly higher proportion of endodontists (25.9%) compared with that of GDPs (14%) doing so. A significantly higher proportion of endodontists (98.5%) used ultrasonics for removal of fractured instruments compared with GDPs (75.8%). The most common complication of fractured instrument retrieval was thought to be excessive removal of dentine (67%). The majority of respondents (88.5%) reported that they would leave the unsuccessfully removed file in situ and obturate the root canal. Conclusion: Both endodontists and GDPs were aware of the limitations of root canal anatomy when removal of fractured instruments was considered. Excessive removal of dentine, the most common complication associated with the removal process, suggests the need for more conservative techniques. Both endodontists and GDPs demonstrated a conservative approach when management of fractured instruments failed. Further studies regarding attitudes of GDPs and endodontists towards some specific aspects of fractured instruments management are required. © 2008 International Endodontic Journal.
- Endodontic files separation
- Instruments fracture