For this study, the research team gathered deidentified electronic dental records from the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network, consisting of 99 small group and solo dentistry practices from around the country. The data covered more than 46,000 patients who received root canals.
Data analysis revealed that the median survival time of a tooth after a root canal is 11.1 years. However, several factors can impact that, including follow-up treatments.
The teeth that receive a root canal, and a subsequent filling and crown last about 20 years. Teeth that receive either a filling or a crown after a root canal last around 11 years.
Teeth that receive no restorative work after a root canal only last about 6.5 years. There were also wide disparities in longevity among geographic regions. Insurance status also played a significant role in tooth survival time.
“This data could also inform dental insurance coverage by demonstrating the value of crowns and permanent restoration options,” said first author Thankam Thyvalikakath, DMD, MDS, PhD, director of the Regenstrief-IU School of Dentistry dental informatics program.
Oral health is a public health issue that significantly affects people’s overall health. Leveraging dental records can help us better understand ways to improve treatment, identify causal relationships and maintain the health of teeth and gums.
This study provides more representative data of the overall population than previous studies. It also demonstrates that meaningful insights can be gained through the analysis of existing data from routine dental care.
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