Ultrasound Assessment of Bone Healing after Root-end Surgery: Echoes Back to Patient's Safety

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The aim of this study was to present ultrasound imaging (UI) techniques as promising and safe tools for the follow-up of root-end surgery (RES) in vivo.


The study included 8 patients who underwent RES. All were followed up using UI at 1 week, 1 month, 2 months, 3 months, and 6 months (if necessary) after RES. The bony crypt was defined on the ultrasound image, and the following observations were made during follow-up: cortical bone interruption and surface area measurement of the residual echoic bony crypt image.


In all cases, the hypoechoic image became hyperechoic, indicating gradual bone healing of the crypt. Compared with baseline, at 3 months a remaining cortical opening of 51.2% (±12.6%) and a bony crypt surface area of 24.3% (±10.8%) was detected for all patients. For 50% of the patients, the echographic follow-up ended at 3 months because the ultrasound waves could no longer enter the bony crypt. For 4 patients who attended the 6-month recall, a remaining cortical disruption of 43.2% (±9.9%) and a bony crypt surface area of 17.2% (±7%) compared with the baseline was noted.


UI is a promising follow-up tool for RES. It helps clinicians understand the initial stages of bone healing, allows close healing monitoring, and is radiation free.

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