5 to 7% of patients have persistent pain after root canal treatment

shutterstock_2296216-root canal xray

This  systematic review was first published in 2010

The American Dental Association Centre for Evidence-based Dentistry has now published a critical summary of this review.

They found the review to be comprehensive using STROBE criteria to assess study quality.Eighteen of the 26 studies were prospective. However they noted that the reviewers did not report the follow-up pain status for patients whose teeth had been extracted as this information was missing from the original article. this may have resulted in an underestimation of the true frequency of all-cause pain.

The appraiser noted that:-

pain that manifests within the first year after endodontic therapy can persist for years.
The reviewers identified pain after endodontic treatment as an issue that dentistry should explore more comprehensively.
There is great need to identify patients at high risk of experiencing persistent pain after endodontic treatment, to facilitate early diagnosis, to initiate preventive measures and to develop treatment strategies.

Go to the ADA Critical summary

Go to the original article abstract

Commentaries are also available on this review in

Evidence-based Dentistry

Journal of Evidence-Based Dental Practice

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Derek Richards

Derek Richards is a specialist in dental public health, Director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Dentistry and Specialist Advisor to the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP) Development Team. A former editor of the Evidence-Based Dentistry Journal and chief blogger for the Dental Elf website until December 2023. Derek has been involved with a wide range of evidence-based initiatives both nationally and internationally since 1994. Derek retired from the NHS in 2019 remaining as a part-time senior lecturer at Dundee Dental School until the end of 2023.

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