Techniques and materials used by general dentists during endodontic treatment procedures: Findings from The National Dental Practice-Based Research Network

J Am Dent Assoc. 2016 Jan;147(1):19-27. doi: 10.1016/j.adaj.2015.05.021. Epub 2015 Nov 6.


Background: Little is known about which materials and techniques general dentists (GDs) use during endodontic procedures. The objectives were to quantify GDs' use of specific endodontic tools, quantify inappropriate use, and ascertain whether inappropriate use is associated with GDs' practice characteristics.

Methods: GDs in The National Dental Practice-Based Research Network reported in a questionnaire materials and techniques they use during endodontic procedures.

Results: Among eligible GDs, 1,490 (87%) participated. Most (93%; n = 1,383) used sodium hypochlorite to irrigate. The most commonly used sealers were zinc oxide eugenol (43%) and resin (40%), followed by calcium hydroxide (26%). Most (62%; n = 920) used a compaction obturation technique; 36% (n = 534) used a carrier-based method. Most (96%; n = 1,423) used gutta-percha as a filler; 5% used paste fillers. Few used irrigants (n = 46), techniques (n = 49), or fillers (n = 10) that investigators classified as inappropriate.

Conclusions: GDs use a broad range of endodontic techniques and materials, often adapting to newer technologies as they become available. Few GDs use tools that the investigators classified as inappropriate.

Practical implications: GDs use many types of endodontic techniques and materials, but only a small percentage of them are inappropriate.

Keywords: Dentistry; endodontic materials; endodontic procedures; general dentist; paste obturation; practice-based research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Dental Instruments / statistics & numerical data
  • Dental Materials / therapeutic use*
  • Dental Pulp Diseases / therapy
  • Endodontics / instrumentation
  • Endodontics / methods
  • Endodontics / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Practice Patterns, Dentists' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States


  • Dental Materials