Retreatment versus initial root canal treatment: Factors affecting posttreatment pain

Donna J. Mattscheck, Alan S. Law, W. Craig Noblett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Objective. The purpose of this study was to determine the factors associated with posttreatment pain in patients receiving root canal retreatment (RCR) and in those receiving initial root canal treatment (IRCT). Study design. Eighty four patients scheduled for RCR or IRCT completed questionnaires on pretreatment pain levels (Visual Analogue Scale, 0-100) and demographic data. Diagnosis and original obturating material, if applicable, were also recorded, and treatment was initiated. At 4, 8, 12, 24, 48, 72, 96, and 120 hours, patients recorded posttreatment pain levels. Seventy one patients returned completed questionnaires. Results. There was no significant difference in posttreatment pain with respect to patients undergoing RCR and patients undergoing IRCT, type of original obturating material, or pretreatment diagnosis. Posttreatment pain levels were significantly increased at 4, 8, and 12 hours after treatment. Patients reporting higher levels of pretreatment pain (Visual Analogue Scale > 20) had significantly increased posttreatment pain (P < .05) up to 24 hours after the procedure. Conclusions. Pretreatment pain level influenced posttreatment pain more than RCR or IRCT, the type of original obturating material, or the pretreatment diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-324
Number of pages4
JournalOral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology, and Endodontics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2001
Externally publishedYes

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