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J Endod. 2012 Oct;38(10):1326-9. doi: 10.1016/j.joen.2012.06.032. Epub 2012 Aug 9.

A prospective study of the extraction and retention incidence of endodontically treated teeth with uncertain prognosis after endodontic referral.

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Department of Endodontics, Dental School, University of Athens, Athens, Greece.



The present study was conducted with the aim to assess the extraction and retention incidence of endodontically treated teeth with an uncertain prognosis after endodontic referral and to evaluate the factors related to the decision-making process.


Two hundred seventy-five permanent teeth were clinically and radiographically evaluated by 3 experienced endodontists. The type of tooth, age and sex of the patients, the motive of referral, and the main chief complaint were the initial recorded data. The associations between extraction reasons and the patients' age and sex or tooth type were analyzed using the chi-square test.


Of the 275 teeth examined, 217 (79%) were finally extracted. The remaining 58 (21%) teeth were endodontically retreated and restored. A questionable clinical status was the main motive for endodontic referral (57.1%). The teeth most extracted were maxillary molars (36.2%) followed by mandibular molars (32.9%). The most prevalent reason for extraction was nonrestorable caries (37.1%). The majority of the teeth retained in the oral cavity needed surgical periodontal or endodontic management.


The most frequent reason responsible for the fate of endodontically treated teeth is the pronounced loss of dental tissues. Endodontic referral may aid in the survival of some carefully selected cases of endodontically treated teeth.

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