Case selection for apical surgery: A retrospective evaluation of associated factors and rational

Itzhak Abramovitz*, Hadar Better, Amit Shacham, Benjamin Shlomi, Zvi Metzger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Endodontic failures associated with poor quality of endodontics respond favorably to retreatment. Nevertheless, under certain clinical conditions, apicoectomy should be the preferred procedure. A retrospective survey of 200 roots that were referred for apical surgery revealed that 83% of the roots were inadequately obturated, including 8.5% with no root canal filling at all. In 49 of the roots in this group (24.5% of the referred cases) nonsurgical retreatment was judged by an endodontist as either impossible or improbable because it might jeopardize the root integrity. Retreatment should have been the preferred treatment modality for the rest of the group, provided that coronal restorations could be safely bypassed or removed. Posts were found in 63 of these teeth, however 35 of them were either short or loosely fitting and could safely be removed. The rest of the posts were longer than 5 mm, which might have presented a problem if their removal was attempted. In 45% of the 200 cases in the present study, surgical intervention was justified. The rest of the cases (55%) should have either been subjected to a follow-up (10.5%) or retreated nonsurgically by a skilled endodontist (44.5%). These results indicate that referring dentists may not appreciate the retreatment possibilities offered by modern endodontics, and they emphasize the need for a shift of concept: endodontists should be involved in the decision making before referring a patient to surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)527-530
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Endodontics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2002


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