Objective: An increase in dental awareness and need to maintain good oral health, in a growing population will necessitate an increased demand for root canal treatment (endodontic treatment). In emerging economies like Nigeria, the trend appears similar to what obtains in more developed economies where patients are keen on retaining their teeth. The objective was to determine the reasons for endodontic treatment and pattern of demand for treatment among adult patients attending the Endodontic unit of a tertiary hospital in Southern Nigeria.
Methods: A retrospective review of all clinical records of adult patients who attended the Endodontic unit of the Department of Restorative Dentistry, University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) Edo State, Nigeria from January 2012 to December 2014 for root canal treatment (RCT). The demographic and clinical data were retrieved from the patients' records and analyzed using SPSS version 20.
Results: A total of 485 patients, comprising 226(46.6%) males and 259(53.4%) females (a ratio of 1:1.4) underwent endodontic treatment during the study period. The age range of patients was 18-68 years. In the studied population, the highest demand for endodontic treatment 219(45.2%) was among the 20-29 years age range. The commonest indication for RCT was irreversible pulpitis (48.4%). The total number of teeth treated was 522. More posterior teeth 338(64.8%) were treated than anteriors 184(35.2%). The mandibular first molar 96(18.4%) was the most frequently treated tooth. More maxillary teeth 332(63.6%) underwent RCT than mandibular teeth 190(36.4%).Endodontic treatment was mostly completed in multiple visits 439(84.1%). A total of 279 (57.5%) patients had their treatments covered by the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). Out of pocket payments accounted for 40.2% of patients who had endodontic treatment
Conclusion: There was a greater demand for root canal treatment among female and young adult patients. Most of the procedures were performed on maxillary teeth while the mandibular first molar was the most frequently treated tooth.