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Indications for root canal treatment in a Swedish county dental service: patient- and tooth-specific characteristics.

Journal article
Authors Emma Wigsten
Peter Jonasson
Thomas Kvist
Published in International endodontic journal
Volume 52
Issue 2
Pages 158-168
ISSN 1365-2591
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Odontology
Pages 158-168
Language en
Subject categories Dentistry


To study patient- and tooth-specific characteristics of teeth indicated for root canal treatment, in the public dental service of the county of Västra Götaland, Sweden.During a designated 8-week period, general dental practitioners working at 20 different public dental clinics consecutively registered indications for undertaking root canal treatment. The patients' subjective level of pain was also registered (visual analogue scale) at the very first appointment. The following information was retrieved from computerized dental records and radiographs: gender, age, number of remaining teeth, tooth group, previous restoration, number of restored surfaces, dental caries and tooth substance loss. Gender and age were compared using both descriptive and analytical statistics.The material comprised 243 teeth in 243 patients: 128 (52.7%) women and 115 (47.3%) men, mean age 48.3 years. Molar teeth predominated (47.7%). Most of the teeth (83.5%) had previously been restored and exhibited significant loss of tooth substance, more than a third of the crown (71.3%). Dental caries was present in 127 teeth (62.9%). Dental trauma was implicated in only seven cases (2.9%). Initial treatment was frequently undertaken at an emergency visit, for relief of symptoms (64.9%). The most commonly registered indication was pulpal necrosis with apical periodontitis (38.1%), followed by pulpitis (37.7%). Retreatment of a root filled tooth was reported in 18 teeth (7.4%).In the general Public Dental Service of Sweden, root canal treatment is most frequently undertaken in molars. The primary indication is relief of symptoms. Retreatment of root filled teeth is uncommon.

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