First American study analyzing the survival of teeth in the back
INDIANAPOLIS — Teeth survive about 11 years after root canal treatment, according to a new study from the Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University School of Dentistry. The groundbreaking study is the first to analyze records from community dental practices, where most Americans receive dental care.
“The results of this study provide deeper insight into the longevity of dental procedures because they provide real-world data on a wider range of patients, not just those receiving care in large health care systems or those who are insured.” , said first author Thankam Thyvalikakath. , DMD, MDS, PhD, director of the dental informatics program at the Regenstrief-IU School of Dentistry. “This information can be used to inform dental practice and help patients and dentists make better care decisions.”
Root canals are an important treatment for maintaining natural teeth affected by disease. However, over time, the treated tooth eventually becomes brittle and dies. Understanding the results of the procedure is essential to improve dental treatments.
For this study, the research team gathered anonymized electronic dental records from the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network, comprised of 99 small-group and solo dental practices from across the country. The data covered over 46,000 patients who received root canals.
Break down root canal data
Data analysis revealed that the median survival time of a tooth after root canal treatment is 11.1 years. However, several factors can impact this, including follow-up treatments.
- Teeth that receive a root canal, then a filling and a crown last about 20 years.
- Teeth that receive a filling or crown after root canal treatment last about 11 years.
- Teeth that receive no restorative work after root canal treatment only last about 6.5 years.
There were also large disparities in longevity between geographic regions.
- Northeast — 20.5 years
- Midwest – 11.2 years
- Southwest – 11.2 years
- South Atlantic – 9.1 years
- Center-South – 9.0 years
- West – 8.7 years
Insurance status also played an important role in tooth survival time.
“These data could also inform dental insurance coverage by demonstrating the value of crowns and permanent restorative options,” Dr. Thyvalikakath said. “Oral health is a public health issue that significantly affects people’s overall health. Leveraging dental records can help us better understand ways to improve treatment, identify causal relationships, and maintain healthy teeth and gums.
This study provides data that is more representative of the general population than previous studies. It also demonstrates that meaningful insights can be obtained through the analysis of existing data on routine dental care.
“Analysis of Root Canal Treatment Survival in National Dental PBRN Practices“, is published in the Journal of Dental Research. This work was supported by National Institutes of Health grants U19-DE-28717 and U19-DE-22516.
In addition to Dr. Thyvalikakath, the authors of the article are Michelle LaPradd, MS, IU School of Medicine at the time of the study; Zasim Siddiqui, BDS, MS, IU School of Dentistry at time of study; William D. Duncan, PhD, MS, Biomedical Data Science and Shared Resource, Roswell Park Cancer Center at time of study; George Eckert, MS, IU School of Medicine; Jayanth Kumar Medam, MS, IU School of Dentistry; D. Brad Rindal, DDS, and Mark Jurkovich, DDS, both of HealthPartners Institute; and Gregg H. Gilbert, DDS, MBA, the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network.
About Thankam Thyvalikakath, DMD, MDS, PhD
In addition to her role as Regenstrief Research Scientist and Director of the Regenstrief and IU School of Dentistry Dental Informatics Program, Thankam Thyvalikakath, DMD, MDS, PhD, is Director of the Dental Informatics Core, Professor at the IU School of Dentistry and Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Computing and Computer Science at IUPUI.
About the Regenstrief-IU School of Dentistry Dental Informatics Program
Established in 2019, the dental informatics program at the Regenstrief Institute-IU School of Dentistry is one of the few in the United States, and perhaps the only one linked to a clinical data repository managed by a regional exchange of health information. The program uses both electronic data from dental and medical records for clinical research to develop interoperable databases and advance knowledge about oral health problems that cause, coexist with, or result from medical conditions. . The aim is to implement the results in dental clinics and other points of care.
About the Regenstrief Institute
Founded in 1969 in Indianapolis, the Regenstrief Institute is a local, national and global leader dedicated to a world where better information empowers people to end disease and achieve true health. A key research partner of Indiana University, Regenstrief and its researchers are responsible for a growing number of major healthcare innovations and studies. Examples range from developing global health information technology standards that enable the use and interoperability of electronic health records, to improving patient-physician communications, to creating models of care that inform practice and improve the lives of patients around the world.
Sam Regenstrief, a nationally successful entrepreneur from Connersville, Indiana, founded the institute with the goal of making health care more efficient and accessible to everyone. His vision continues to guide the institute’s research mission.
About Indiana University School of Dentistry
Hoosier State’s only dental school, Indiana University School of Dentistry (IUSD) offers an extraordinary learning environment in which teaching, research, and community service come together in the best possible way to prepare professionals dentistry of tomorrow. About 80 percent of dentists practicing in the state of Indiana are alumni of the school.
Founded in 1879 in Indianapolis, IUSD is located on the health sciences campus of IUPUI, one of the top urban universities in the United States with a proven commitment to community engagement. IUSD capitalizes on the campus’ central location in the state and its position in the research corridor that connects IUPUI, Purdue University West Lafayette, and Indiana University Bloomington. IUSD faculty conduct world-class interdisciplinary research in collaboration with IU’s other Schools of Health Sciences and Purdue Schools of Engineering, Technology, and Science.
Journal of Dental Research
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Root canal treatment survival analysis in national PBRN dental practices
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