Influence of Cone-beam Computed Tomography on Endodontic Retreatment Strategies among General Dental Practitioners and Endodontists

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Treatment options for endodontic failure include nonsurgical or surgical endodontic retreatment, intentional replantation, and extraction with or without replacement of the tooth. The aim of the present study was to determine the impact of cone-beam computed tomographic (CBCT) imaging on clinical decision making among general dental practitioners and endodontists after failed root canal treatment. A second objective was to assess the self-reported level of difficulty in making a treatment choice before and after viewing a preoperative CBCT scan.


Eight patients with endodontically treated teeth diagnosed as symptomatic apical periodontitis, acute apical abscess, or chronic apical abscess were selected. In the first session, the examiners were given the details of each case, including any relevant radiographs, and were asked to choose 1 of the proposed treatment alternatives and assess the difficulty of making a decision. One month later, the examiners reviewed randomly the same 8 cases with the additional information from the CBCT data.


The examiners altered their treatment plan after viewing the CBCT scan in 49.8% of the cases. A significant difference in the treatment plan between the 2 imaging modalities was recorded for endodontists and general practitioners (P < .05). After CBCT evaluation, neither group altered their self-reported level of difficulty when choosing a treatment plan (P = .0524). The extraction option rose significantly to 20% after viewing the CBCT scan (P < .05).


CBCT imaging directly influences endodontic retreatment strategies among general dental practitioners and endodontists.

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