AN EVALUATION OF CASE DIFFICULTY, OPERATOR ABILITIES, WHEN AND HOW TO REFER
Dental practitioners (DP) often perform endodontic treatment on teeth that are difficult and challenging. Endodontic treatment is sometimes associated with treatment related problems such as mishaps, procedural errors, iatrogenic errors, complications, accidents and in serious cases, malpractice. These mishaps in general are closely linked to case difficulty. Endodontics is the leading cause of dental malpractice claims. A new case difficulty evaluation form, the Nordic Endodontic Assessment Form is introduced here. This form places DP and tooth into 4 categories according to technical skills, theoretical knowledge and use of tools. Category A – DP does not use magnification tools. Category B – DP use some form of magnification aid, have experience in performing endodontic therapy, and complementary theoretical knowledge. Category C – DP use dental loupes, has experience and special interest in Endodontics. Category D – DP are either an Endodontists or DP with special training in Endodontics who use the dental operating microscope. With this Nordic Endodontic Assessment Form, DP can self-evaluate which category the tooth that needs treatment belongs, identify case difficulty and refer patients when there is a need for it. How to write a referral and what should be included is also discussed.