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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Endodontic procedures for retreatment of periapical lesions

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, October 2016
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  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (94th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (80th percentile)

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2 blogs
37 tweeters
3 Facebook pages
2 Wikipedia pages


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Endodontic procedures for retreatment of periapical lesions
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, October 2016
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd005511.pub3
Pubmed ID

Massimo Del Fabbro, Stefano Corbella, Patrick Sequeira-Byron, Igor Tsesis, Eyal Rosen, Alessandra Lolato, Silvio Taschieri


When primary root canal therapy fails, periapical lesions can be retreated with or without surgery. Root canal retreatment is a non-surgical procedure that involves removal of root canal filling materials from the tooth, followed by cleaning, shaping and obturating of the canals. Root-end resection is a surgical procedure that involves exposure of the periapical lesion through an osteotomy, surgical removal of the lesion, removal of part of the root-end tip, disinfection and, commonly, retrograde sealing or filling of the apical portion of the remaining root canal. This review updates one published in 2008. To assess effects of surgical and non-surgical therapy for retreatment of teeth with apical periodontitis.To assess effects of surgical root-end resection under various conditions, for example, when different materials, devices or techniques are used. We searched the following electronic databases: the Cochrane Oral Health Trials Register (to 10 February 2016), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL; 2016, Issue 1), MEDLINE Ovid (1946 to 10 February 2016) and Embase Ovid (1980 to 10 February 2016). We searched the US National Registry of Clinical Trials (ClinicalTrials.gov) and the World Health Organization (WHO) International Clinical Trials Registry Platform for ongoing trials (to 10 February 2016). We placed no restrictions regarding language and publication date. We handsearched the reference lists of the studies retrieved and key journals in the field of endodontics. We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) involving people with periapical pathosis. Studies could compare surgery versus non-surgical treatment or could compare different types of surgery. Outcome measures were healing of the periapical lesion assessed after one-year follow-up or longer; postoperative pain and discomfort; and adverse effects such as tooth loss, mobility, soft tissue recession, abscess, infection, neurological damage or loss of root sealing material evaluated through radiographs. Two review authors independently extracted data from included studies and assessed their risk of bias. We contacted study authors to obtain missing information. We combined results of trials assessing comparable outcomes using the fixed-effect model, with risk ratios (RRs) for dichotomous outcomes and mean differences (MDs) for continuous outcomes, and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). We used generic inverse variance for split-mouth studies. We included 20 RCTs. Two trials at high risk of bias assessed surgery versus a non-surgical approach: root-end resection with root-end filling versus root canal retreatment. The other 18 trials evaluated different surgical protocols: cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) versus periapical radiography for preoperative assessment (one study at high risk of bias); antibiotic prophylaxis versus placebo (one study at unclear risk); different magnification devices (loupes, surgical microscope, endoscope) (two studies at high risk); types of incision (papilla base incision, sulcular incision) (one study at high risk and one at unclear risk); ultrasonic devices versus handpiece burs (one study at high risk); types of root-end filling material (glass ionomer cement, amalgam, intermediate restorative material (IRM), mineral trioxide aggregate (MTA), gutta-percha (GP), super-ethoxy benzoic acid (EBA)) (five studies at high risk of bias, one at unclear risk and one at low risk); grafting versus no grafting (three studies at high risk and one at unclear risk); and low energy level laser therapy versus placebo (irradiation without laser activation) versus control (no use of the laser device) (one study at high risk).There was no clear evidence of superiority of the surgical or non-surgical approach for healing at one-year follow-up (RR 1.15, 95% CI 0.97 to 1.35; two RCTs, 126 participants) or at four- or 10-year follow-up (one RCT, 82 to 95 participants), although the evidence is very low quality. More participants in the surgically treated group reported pain in the first week after treatment (RR 3.34, 95% CI 2.05 to 5.43; one RCT, 87 participants; low quality evidence).In terms of surgical protocols, there was some inconclusive evidence that ultrasonic devices for root-end preparation may improve healing one year after retreatment, when compared with the traditional bur (RR 1.14, 95% CI 1.00 to 1.30; one RCT, 290 participants; low quality evidence).There was evidence of better healing when root-ends were filled with MTA than when they were treated by smoothing of orthograde GP root filling, after one-year follow-up (RR 1.60, 95% CI 1.14 to 2.24; one RCT, 46 participants; low quality evidence).There was no evidence that using CBCT rather than radiography for preoperative evaluation was advantageous for healing (RR 1.02, 95% CI 0.70 to 1.47; one RCT, 39 participants; very low quality evidence), nor that any magnification device affected healing more than any other (loupes versus endoscope at one year: RR 1.05, 95% CI 0.92 to 1.20; microscope versus endoscope at two years: RR 1.01, 95% CI 0.89 to 1.15; one RCT, 70 participants, low quality evidence).There was no evidence that antibiotic prophylaxis reduced incidence of postoperative infection (RR 0.49, 95% CI 0.09 to 2.64; one RCT, 250 participants; low quality evidence).There was some evidence that using a papilla base incision (PBI) may be beneficial for preservation of the interdental papilla compared with complete papilla mobilisation (one RCT (split-mouth), 12 participants/24 sites; very low quality evidence). There was no evidence of less pain in the PBI group at day 1 post surgery (one RCT, 38 participants; very low quality evidence).There was evidence that adjunctive use of a gel of plasma rich in growth factors reduced postoperative pain compared with no grafting (measured on visual analogue scale: one day postoperative MD -51.60 mm, 95% CI -63.43 to -39.77; one RCT, 36 participants; low quality evidence).There was no evidence that use of low energy level laser therapy (LLLT) prevented postoperative pain (very low quality evidence). Available evidence does not provide clinicians with reliable guidelines for treating periapical lesions. Further research is necessary to understand the effects of surgical versus non-surgical approaches, and to determine which surgical procedures provide the best results for periapical lesion healing and postoperative quality of life. Future studies should use standardised techniques and success criteria, precisely defined outcomes and the participant as the unit of analysis.

Twitter Demographics

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 37 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.
Mendeley readers

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 684 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 684 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 107 16%
Student > Bachelor 81 12%
Student > Postgraduate 50 7%
Student > Ph. D. Student 46 7%
Researcher 39 6%
Other 114 17%
Unknown 247 36%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 344 50%
Nursing and Health Professions 23 3%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 9 1%
Immunology and Microbiology 7 1%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 7 1%
Other 51 7%
Unknown 243 36%
Attention Score in Context

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 41. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 27 September 2022.
All research outputs
of 24,513,158 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
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Outputs of similar age
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Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 268 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 24,513,158 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 96th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 12,929 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 34.7. This one has done well, scoring higher than 84% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 321,422 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 94% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 268 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 80% of its contemporaries.