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MINERVA STOMATOLOGICA

A Journal on Dentistry and Maxillofacial Surgery


Official Journal of the Italian Society of Odontostomatology and Maxillofacial Surgery
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Minerva Stomatologica 2007 November-December;56(11-12):621-32

language: English, Italian

A systematic review on the outcome of surgical vs non-surgical procedure for the retreatment of periapical lesions

Del Fabbro M., Taschieri S.

Department of Odontology University of Milan IRCCS Istituto Ortopedico Galeazzi, Milan, Italy


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The most common therapeutical options for the retreatment of teeth with periapical pathosis are orthograde treatment and periapical surgery. The aim of this review was to evaluate the outcomes of surgical versus non-surgical retreatment, in order to provide clinicians with evidence-based information for decision making process. Articles were retrieved by electronic search strategy and traditional searching. Articles were selected based on strict inclusion criteria. The first criterion was the success of retreatment, as determined by clinical and radiographic criteria. The outcomes were further dichotomized according to functionality criteria.Two randomized trials (RCTs) were found. One hundred and twenty-six teeth were followed up after one year, and 82 after 4 years. The success rate for surgical treatment after one year was slightly better than non-surgical: 90.7% vs 80.6%, respectively, according to functional criteria. At the four-year evaluation (40 surgically treated and 42 non-surgically treated cases from 1 RCT) the outcomes were similar. A higher early post-operative discomfort was reported for surgically treated cases. There is no apparent advantage of using a surgical or non-surgical approach for the retreatment of periapical lesions in terms of long-term outcome. The choice between the two procedures should rely upon factors other than the mere treatment outcome, such as patient’s initial clinical situation, patient’s preference, operator’s experience and skill, complication risk, technical feasibility, and overall treatment cost. More well-designed RCTs should be performed with a large sample size and at least 4 years follow-up, using modern instrumentation and materials, to detect a true difference in the long term between the outcomes of the two alternative treatments, if any exists.

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