Endodontics white paper calls for treatment to consider patient health and well-being

11 March 2019 Endodontics

FDI World Dental Federation (FDI) recently released its first white paper on endodontic care, providing an important resource for dentists, national dental associations (NDAs) and other oral health actors.

Endodontic care treats the damage done to the blood vessels, nerves, and tissues in and around the tooth. This damage is often caused by untreated dental caries, which affects a staggering 2.4 billion people worldwide.

The White Paper on Endodontic Care defines the scale of the global burden of endodontic disease and proposes patient-centered solutions to improve endodontic health. The paper was published as part of FDI’s Endodontics in General Practice initiative, supported by Dentsply Sirona.

Rather than focusing purely on the roots of the tooth, this paper calls for endodontic care to address a broader set of health outcomes that directly affect the patient, including teeth retention and impact on overall health. Patients are concerned with eliminating pain and keeping the affected tooth healthy and strong over the long term. Considering the patient’s perspective in the provision of endodontic care has significant implications for existing treatment guidelines.

"A comprehensive approach to endodontic care puts the patient first. We need to shift away from treatment outcomes that focus solely on technical goals and clinical symptoms after treatment and take a closer look at how we can deliver better care to our patients."
DR Kathryn Kell, FDI President

The paper summarizes results of a survey completed by FDI member NDAs to identify obstacles to providing endodontic care. Members reported that limited access to care is an on-going challenge in many countries, and misconceptions of endodontics as a complex or painful procedure frequently deter patients from seeking treatment.

"Untreated endodontic conditions can drastically affect one’s quality of life, causing craniofacial pain, difficulty chewing, and trouble sleeping. We are proud to support FDI’s work to actively address these challenges and propose tangible solutions to improve endodontic health worldwide."
Dr Terri Dolan, VP and Chief Clinical Officer at Dentsply Sirona

Endodontics (in Greek, ‘endo’ means ‘inside’ and ‘odont’ means ‘tooth’) is the branch of dentistry concerning the conservation and treatment of dental pulp and tissues surrounding the roots of the tooth. FDI’s Endodontics in General Practice project guides general dentists on the provision of endodontic care.

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