1st-ever study examines longevity of root canals: 5 notes

A first-of-its-kind study from the Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University School of Dentistry in Indianapolis provides new details about the longevity of teeth post root canal.

Five notes from the study: 

1. The new study shows teeth survive for about 11 years after a root canal, but the survival of a tooth also depends on the insurance status of a patient and follow-up treatment. For example, teeth that receive a root canal and a subsequent filling and crown last about 20 years. 

2. The study results also showed tooth longevity varied across geographic regions. Teeth in the Northeast survived for an average of 20.5 years, while teeth in the Western region survived for an average 8.7 years. 

3. The study is the first to examine records from community dental practices, where most Americans receive dental care, according to a May 17 news release.

4. Thankam Thyvalikakath, DMD, PhD, director of the Regenstrief-IU School of Dentistry dental informatics program, said the study provides new insight into the longevity of dental procedures because it analyzes a wider range of patients, not just those from large health systems or those who are insured.

5. The research team gathered electronic dental records of more than 46,000 anonymous patients who received root canals from the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network, which includes 99 small group and solo dentistry practices nationwide.

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