The effectiveness of endodontic treatment regarding the number of sessions to complete the therapy is still controversial. The aim of this study was to conduct an overview of published systematic reviews (SRs) comparing endodontic treatment in single and multiple visits.Methods
A systematic search was performed in the electronic databases MEDLINE/PubMed and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials until August 18, 2016, without language restriction. The eligibility criteria were as follows: (1) SRs and (2) a focus on endodontic techniques in single or multiple visits. The phases of eligibility and analysis of risk of bias were conducted by 2 or 3 independent and calibrated examiners, and a fourth examiner was consulted to resolve inconsistencies. Assessment of Multiple Systematic Reviews was used to evaluate the risk of bias of the included SRs, which were assessed according to the risk to develop knowledge and the existing knowledge gap.Results
The main characteristics including healing rates, success, and clinical complications during and after endodontic treatment were extracted from the SRs. From the 20 SRs initially identified, 8 were included in the analysis. Of these, 6 SRs showed low to moderate risk of bias and were suitable as strong clinical evidence on the topic.Conclusions
Overall analysis indicated that single and multiple visits showed similar repair or success rates regardless of the precondition of the pulp and periapex. The apical periodontitis subgroup showed a slight positive trend toward a decreased incidence of postoperative complications and a higher effectiveness and efficiency for a single session. Based on the risk of bias, the current level of evidence for this clinical approach is high.