Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Kamran Safavi, Robert Aseltine, Miranda Jennings

Field of Study

Dental Science


Master of Dental Science

Open Access

Open Access


Clinical decision making in dentistry is multifactorial. Few studies have evaluated the influence of residency training on clinical treatment practices in dentistry. This study sought to explore the impact of resident training on post-graduate clinical protocol and the practitioner's rationale when making these decisions. Following IRB approval, a survey of 87 graduates from the Division of Endodontology at the University of Connecticut Health Center from 1978 to 2012 was administered. The method of temporization following nonsurgical endodontic therapy, dilution of sodium hypochlorite, instrumentation, treatment planning and endodontic sealer choice were evaluated and compared to the respondent’s residency training. The results of the survey included a 54% completion rate. The majority of graduates reported using the same endodontic sealer and treatment planning protocol as taught in residency. Most graduates did not report using the same dilution of sodium hypochlorite or instrumentation protocol. In general, graduates continue to practice theory-based protocols learned in their residency more often than technology-based protocols. Graduates chose clinical protocols identical to their residency training 52% of the time. The majority of graduates chose residency training, clinical experience and peer-reviewed articles when explaining their rationale for clinical decisions.

Major Advisor

Blythe Kaufman