To evaluate perceived quality, clarity, and accuracy of self-developing films compared to conventional D- and E-speed manually processed films, and to evaluate their ease of use and satisfaction amongst pre-clinical dental students.
Mesiobuccal root canals of 30 extracted mandibular molar teeth were instrumented and size 10 K-files were glued into the canals at 3 different levels. Each tooth was exposed thrice with the same angulation using conventional E-speed, D-speed, and self-developing films. Conventional films were processed manually and self-developing films according to the manufacturer’s instructions, which required 50 seconds of contact time with the solution. Radiographs were evaluated by 4 examiners for quality, clarity, and apical position of the file. A questionnaire-based survey was conducted to evaluate the ease of use, quality, and satisfaction of undergraduate students. Data were analyzed using one-way ANOVA and Tukey–Kramer multiple comparison test, significant at p < 0.05.
The quality and clarity of conventional E-speed films was perceived as significantly better than that of D-speed and self-developing films (p < 0.05). There was no statistically significant difference amongst the 3 film types for recorded file positions (p > 0.05). The results of the student survey corroborated the examiners’ views that the self-developing radiographic films were of poor quality.
Manually processed E-speed films provided significantly superior quality and clarity of images, but for apical file position, no significant differences were found amongst the 3 film types. Conventional E-speed, D-speed, and self-developing films are all adequate for measuring endodontic working lengths.