Objective: This study aimed at exploring the usage of radiographic image-enhancement tools in Saudi dental practice when interpreting radiographs taken for root-canal-treatmentsí (RCTs) procedures and the influencing factors.
Methods: An online survey including questions related mainly to the usage of images enhancement tools and the reasons for no or low frequently usage was constructed. The survey was sent to 550 general dentists (GDs), randomly selected from the Saudi Dental Register, and all endodontists (185) in Saudi Arabia using the Google-Drive tool. A reminder email was sent two months later to encourage none-respondents to complete the survey. Data were analyzed using the Chi-square and Linear-by-Linear Association tests at p=0.05.
Results: While the highest percentage of GDs (48.3%) never used the colour-coded tool, the highest percentage of endodontists (46.1%) used it sometimes (P<0.001). The majority (84.2%) used the contrast tool either generally (67.8%) or sometimes (16.4%) (P<0.001); with more endodontists (77.55%) than GDs (63.1%) (P=0.011). As participants experience decreased and the weekly performed cases increased, the trend of using this tool increased (P<0.05). While most GDs (67.6%) either never (46%) or few-times (21.6%) used the highlight tool, most endodontists (56.9%) either used it generally (34.4%) or sometimes (22.5%) (P<0.001). The majority (82.3%) were using the magnification tool either generally (55.1%) or sometimes (27.2%). The highest percentage (36.1%) was generally using the negative-view tool (P=0.045); with more endodontists (63.7%) than GDs (20.8%) (P<0.001). While ''I donít know how to use it'' was the dominant reason reported by GDs for not using most of the tools, lack of time was the dominant reason reported by endodontists (P≤0.001).
Conclusion: The contrast and magnification were the most common used image-enhancement tools in Saudi dental practice. Endodontists reported greater preferences on using all images-enhancement tools than GDs. Unawareness and lack of time were the dominant reasons for not using the tools reported by GDs and endodontists, respectively. Further studies are required to determine the exact application for each tool and to investigate the impact of all image-enhancement tools on their diagnostic accuracy.