How successful is endodontic surgery?

By Dr. Barry H. Korzen

Q: With all the advertising being done by implant companies directed at our patients, it is becoming more difficult to convince them to undergo endodontic surgery when initial orthograde treatment fails and retreatment is impossible or impractical. What evidence-based material can I use to balance the information they are reading in their magazines?


A: It is sometimes difficult to answer a well scripted advertisement with facts. However a well presented alternative to extraction and implants can be made by evidence-based published material.  The Toronto Study, supervised by Dr. Shimon Friedman,  found that overall, 85% of cases initially treated by conventional, orthograde endodontic treatment were deemed to have successfully healed. A paper published in the August 2014 Journal of Endodontics by Lui et al, found that 78.5% of endodontic surgical procedures were successful.  Although these two studies were not related in any way, they do verify the exceptionally high ultimate success rate of endodontic treatment. And should one of your patients unfortunately be one of those few for whom endodontic treatment is not successful, there is always the extraction / implant route to go. (Please pardon the pun.)


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