Healing of 400 intra-alveolar root fractures. 2. Effect of treatment factors such as treatment delay, repositioning, splinting type and period and antibiotics

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This is the second part of a retrospective study of 400 root-fractured permanent incisors. In this article, the effect of various treatment procedures is analyzed. Treatment delay, i.e. treatment later than 24 h after injury, did not change the root fracture healing pattern, healing with hard tissue between fragments (HH1), interposition of bone and/or periodontal ligament (PDL) or pulp necrosis (NEC). When initial displacement did not exceed 1 mm, optimal repositioning appeared to significantly enhance both the likelihood of pulpal healing and hard tissue repair (HH1). Significant differences in healing were found among the different splinting techniques. The lowest frequency of healing was found with cap splints and the highest with fiberglass or Kevlar® splints. The latter splinting procedure showed almost the same healing result as non-splinting. Comparison between non-splinting and splinting for non-displaced teeth was found to reveal no benefit from splinting. With respect to root fractures with displacement, too few cases were available for analysis. No beneficial effect of splinting periods greater than 4 weeks could be demonstrated. The administration of antibiotics had the paradoxical effect of promoting both HH1 and NEC. No explanation could be found. It was concluded that, optimal repositioning seems to favor healing. Furthermore, the chosen splinting method appears to be related to healing of root fractures, with a preference to pulp healing and healing fusion of fragments to a certain flexibility of the splint and possibly also non-traumatogenic splint application. Splinting for more than 4 weeks was not found to influence the healing pattern. A certain treatment delay (a few days) appears not to result in inferior healing. The role of antibiotics upon fracture healing is questionable.

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