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AAE President Garry L. Myers says that a white paper helps identify the knowledge and skill that should provide a standard for all practitioners who diagnose, treatment plan and perform endodontic treatment for their patients. (Photo: American Association of Endodontists)
0 Comments Oct 2, 2017 | News USA

AAE: Supporting a single standard of endodontics

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CHICAGO, Ill., USA: As the global leaders in advocating the value and quality of endodontics, the American Association of Endodontists (AAE) supports a single standard of endodontic education and care to provide patients with the highest quality care with the best result — saving their natural teeth. The AAE developed the Endodontic Competency White Paper to identify the knowledge and skill that should provide a standard for all practitioners who diagnose, treatment plan and perform endodontic treatment for their patients.

While all dentists are trained in endodontics, that training varies greatly, as does the clinical experience of each dentist. To help ensure that patients receive the best possible care from all practitioners at the highest standards, the AAE’s emphasis on endodontic competency should spur general dentists to undergo additional training, recognize their limitations and consult with specialists on treatment planning and referral.

“The AAE recognizes that there are great variations in endodontic training, as well as the knowledge, competence, experience of performance of endodontics among private practicing dentists,” said AAE President Garry L. Myers. “As such, the AAE developed this comprehensive document outlining the minimum standards any dentist, regardless of years of experience, should meet when providing endodontic care.”

The white paper focuses on three key areas critical to competent endodontic treatment: diagnosis, treatment planning and prognosis. Diagnostic standards include the ability of the dentist to assimilate the necessary subjective, objective and radiographic information to establish a pulpal and/or periapical diagnosis, provide appropriate emergency care and referral, and maintain proper patient records and documentation. Treatment planning standards include case assessment to evaluate the difficulty of treatment and consideration of referral, development of a treatment plan that takes into account the restorability of the tooth, and special consideration for traumatic dental injuries. Competency in the prognosis of endodontic treatment requires that clinicians be able to forecast the outcome of initial nonsurgical root canal treatment.

These guidelines were developed to assist educational institutions and organized dentistry in developing minimum educational requirements and skill requisites needed to perform endodontic treatment. The AAE's goal is a consistent endodontic curriculum that provides predoctoral students with a firmer foundation in the specialty, including a better understanding of the biologic basis of endodontic disease, diagnosis, treatment planning and prognosis, as well as today's state-of-the-art techniques and technologies.

“All clinicians must keep current with advances that are generally accepted and embraced by the endodontic specialty,” Myers explained. “Endodontic best practices change with time and it is the responsibility of practitioners to be aware of such changes for those procedures they perform. The general dentist must perform endodontic care at the same level as the specialist, and it's in everyone's best interests, especially the patient's, to do so.”

The Endodontic Competency White Paper is available on the AAE website at www.aae.org/guidelines. Practitioners are encouraged to use it as a reference with endodontic cases and educators should consider the competencies and intents when developing predoctoral curriculum.

(Source: American Association of Endodontists)

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