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Radiographic evaluation of periapical status and frequency of endodontic treatment in a Turkish population: A retrospective study/Turk Toplumunda Endodontik Tedavi Sikliginin ve Periapikal Durumun Radyolojik Degerlendirmesi: Retrospektif Bir Calisma.

ABSTRACT

Purpose: The aim of this study was to determine the frequencies of apical periodontitis and endodontic treatment in a Turkish population using a retrospective analysis of orthopantomograms.

Materials and Methods: The sample consisted of orthopantomographs of 250 subjects who had been referred to our clinic for an initial visit between the years of 2013 and 2014. The periapical status of all teeth (with the exception of third molars) was examined using periapical index scoring system (PAI). Data were analyzed statistically using the Chi-squared test at the significance level of p<0.05.

Results: The study sample comprised 6196 teeth belonging to 250patients. Out of 6196 examined teeth, the frequencies of apical periodontitis and endodontic treatment was 1.8% and 3.7%, respectively. Gender had no effect on the presence of apical periodontitis or the frequency of endodontic treatment. The frequency of apical periodontitis and endodontic treatment increased with age, but it did not show statistical significance among different age groups.

Conclusion: This study provides epidemiological data about apical periodontitis and endodontic treatment in a Turkish population.

Keywords: Apical periodonititis; Panoramic radiograph; Periapical index; Endodontic treatment

OZ

Amac: Bu calismanin amaci; Turk toplumunda apikal periodontitis ve endodontik tedavi sikligini ortopantomografilerin retrospektif analiziyle belirlemektir.

Gerec ve Yontem: Calisma grubu 2013-2014 yillari arasinda ilk muayene icin klinigimize basvuran 250 bireyin ortopantomografisinden olusmaktadir. Tum dislerin periapikal durumlari (ucuncu molarlar haric) periapikal skorlama indeksiyle (PAI) degerlendirilmistir. Veriler p<0.05 duzeyinde ki-kare testiyle degerlendirilmistir.

Bulgular: 250 bireye ait 6196 disten olusan calisma grubunda apikal periodontitis ve endodontik tedavi sikligi sirasiyla %1.8 ve %3.7'dir. Cinsiyet, apikal periodontitis ve endodontik tedavi sikligina etki etmemektedir. Yas artisiyla birlikte her ikisi de artis gostermektedir. Ancak, farkli yas gruplari arasinda apikal periodontitis ve endodontik tedavi sikligi yonunden istatistiksel olarak anlamli farklilik gorulmemistir.

Sonuc: Bu calisma Turk toplumunda apikal periodontitis ve endodontik tedavi hakkinda epidemiyolojik bir bilgi saglamaktadir.

Anahtar kelimeler: Apikal periodontitis; Panoramik radyografi; Periapikal indeks; Endodontik tedavi

Introduction

Apical periodontitis (AP) is an acute or chronic inflammation process around apex of the tooth (1). This inflammation is frequently asymptomatic and detected primarily on routine radiographic examination. Early-stage apical pathology may be indicated by radiographically visible changes in the lamina dura (2). The main cause of AP is the bacterial invasion that colonize in the root canal which penetrates into the periapical tissues (1). Bacteria and their toxins can reach the pulpal space via dental caries, trauma and/or operative procedures and then they can advance into the periapical tissues, where they meet various factors of the host defense systems (3). AP usually develops after necrosis of the pulp and is frequently detected in connection with endodontically treated teeth (1). Amongst oral infectious diseases, AP is, after caries, the most prevalent oral infection both in USA and Europe (4). Epidemiological studies which have been carried out in different population groups have shown that root-filled teeth (RFT) have a greater prevalence of AP than non-treated teeth (5) and there is a high prevalence of AP in connection with RFT ranging from 16% to 65% (6). Frequency of AP range from 1.4% to 8.0%, when the tooth is considered as an individual unit. On the other hand, when subjects are considered in total, the prevalence of AP can be as high as 70% (5, 7). Reports indicated that the prevalence of root canal treatment varies from 1.3% to 20% which increases with patient age. Previous studies also showed that when root canal treatments are evaluated radiographically, they are judged to be insufficient in a large proportion of cases (6).

The success rate of root canal treatment is a public health problem that have medical, financial and ethical repercussions (6). Establishing clear treatment objectives and improving techniques will enable practitioner to expect a high success rate (6, 8). Follow-up clinical studies have shown that root canal treatment procudures which conform with modern principles of practice, leads to the favourable results with healing rates above 90%. Such high rates of success were obtained with well trained practitioners under strict operating conditions. That may not reflect the real situation found in general practice (6). Relatively few data have been collected recently regarding the frequency of root canal treatment and periapical lesions in Turkish population (9). Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine the frequency of endodontic treatment and apical periodontitis in a Turkish population.

Materials and Methods

Study Population

Research protocol was approved by the Ethical Committee (Project no: 2015/358). The study sample was collected from the dental records of the Selcuk University Faculty of Dentistry and consisted of orthopantomographs (OPGs) of 250 subjects (125 males and 125 females, in five age groups of 10 year intervals, within 50 individiuals per group female / male: 1/1) who had attended for an initial visit between the years of 2013 and 2014 years. Each subject had an OPG taken during the routine examination. Individuals younger than 15 years and those with 7 or less remaining teeth were excluded from the study participation. [Because they often had periodontal disease and it was impossible to determine the role played by the endodontic treatment in the occurence of a periapical radiolucency (10, 11)].

Radiographic Examination

All OPGs were obtained using digital devices (Kodak[R] 8000, Rochester, New York, USA) by the same radiographer according to exposure parameters suitable for the patient's gender, age and weight. Poor-quality OPGs, including under- or over-exposed images, those with blurred anterior regions and those obviously affected by patient movement, were excluded from the analysis. Missing and root filled teeth were recorded from the panoramic survey. The periapical status of all teeth (with the exception of third molars) was examined using periapical index scoring system (PAI), proposed by 0rstavik et al. (12) (Figure 1). PAI is based on the use of reference radiographs with verified histological diagnosis and is composed of five categories as follows:

1) Normal periapical structures or normal apical periodontium,

2) Small changes in periapical bone structure or bone structural changes indicating, but not pathognomonic for apical periodontitis,

3) Changes in periapical bone structure with some mineral loss or bone structural changes with some mineral loss characteristic of apical periodontitis,

4) Demineralization of periapical bone with well-defined radiolucent area or well-defined radiolucency,

5) Demineralization of periapical bone with exacerbating features or radiolucency with radiating expansions of bone structural changes.

Scores 1 or 2 indicated healty teeth whereas scores 3 to 5 indicated the presence of AP. For multi rooted teeth, the root with the highest PAI score was recorded. Teeth were categorized as endodontically treated if they had been obturated with a radio-opaque material in the pulp chamber and/or in one or more of the root canals. All radiographs interpreted in this study were examined by the same observer, who had three years of oral radiology experience. Two months after the first examination, all radiographs were evaluated again to determine intra-examiner agreement with regard to the detection of periapical radiolucency. Kappa coefficient was calculated to rate the level of intra-examiner agreement.

Statistical analysis

All statistical analysis were performed using the SPSS software (ver. 21; SPSS, Inc., Chicago, IL, USA). Categorical data were assessed by chi-square test and the significance level was p<0.05.

Results

Cohen's kappa coefficient for intra-examiner agreement was calculated as 0.88 which indicates high intra-observer agreement level. The study sample comprised 6196 teeth belonging 250 patients (125 males and 125 females). A mean of 24.8 (range: 8-28) teeth were examined per subject. Age range of the subjects was 15 to 82 (mean: 37) years. Out of 6196 examined teeth, the frequency of AP and RFT was 1.8% and 3.7%, respectively. Overall, 43% of the subject had at least one RFT and 26% exhibited at least one AP. Of the 6196 teeth examined, 3.7% had been root-filled, and of these 15.5% exhibited an AP (PAI>2). Gender had no effect on the presence of AP or the frequency of endodontic treatment. The frequency of AP and endodontic treatment increased with age but it was not signigicant when different age groups are compared. The age and gender distributions of examined teeth stratified by the apical status and endodontic treatment are shown in Table 1 and Table 2.

Discussion

Radiographic information obtained from devices such as periapical, panoramic, RVG and CBCT can be used in an epidemiologic study (13). Some researchers (14-17) have used periapical radiographs whereas others (10, 11, 18, 19) panoramic radiographs for periapical evaluation. As full-mouth periapical radiographs are not used routinely in our dental school, the present study relied on OPGs, which allowed the collection of a large volume of patient data in university clinics without exposing study participants to excessive radiation (2, 9, 20). Also, modern panoramic radiography devices produce better-quality radiographic images, even in the anterior region (2, 21). Some authors (22, 23) concluded that using OPG in epidemiological studies is acceptable and the difference between periapical and panoramic radiographs for the detection of AP was not statistically significant. The panoramic radiographs are simple and fast enough to be used in patients who have limited mouth opening. They also have a high specifity (86%) and sensitivity (96%) for the detection of periapical pathology. Therefore, OPGs are acceptable alternatives in epidemiological studies on dental health, although it was shown that the periapical radiographs provide better visibility except for maxillary second and third molar teeth (24).

Considering that AP lesions which are confined to cancellous bone might go undetected in radiographic examination, more sensitive techniques can be used in further studies. One of these methodologies is CBCT (25). Implementation of periapical index to CBCT to identify AP, offers an accurate diagnostic method that produces high-resolution images. This approach can reduce the prevalence of false-negative diagnosis, minimize observer interference and increase the reliability of epidemiologic studies (21). Although being more precise and sensitive, these systems carry the disadvantange of exposing patients to relatively higher level of ionizing radiation (25). Well-designed epidemiological research is based on the use of predefined criteria for the conditions under investigation as well as proper training and calibration of the investigators (7). Although no standard critera has been defined for the registration of AP in epidemiologic surveys for periapical or panoramic radiographs, the PAI scoring system has been modified and was applied to epidemiologic and clinical studies that focus on the treatment outcome (26). It is considered as the most acceptable method to determine the periapical status in epidemiological studies (27). It provides a pre-defined set of criteria that fulfill the following requirements: measurable, mutually exclusive, valid, reproducible and communicable (7, 13). The PAI was first described for periapical radiographs (5, 26, 28), but numerous epidemiologic studies have used this index for panoramic radiographs or for both techniques simultaneously as well.(26). The AP frequency we found in our population (1.8%) was lower than that of the selected populations of the other studies which have been conducted in different countries (5, 8, 18, 21, 29). On the other hand, the frequency of RFT we observed in this study was 3.7% and this was within the findings reported (2.0% - 21%) in previous studies (1, 6, 8, 18, 21, 29, 30). The frequency of AP in RFT was lower (15.5%) than that of the previous studies (25% - 64.5%) (2, 5, 6, 8, 18, 29, 30). This low AP frequency could be related to the frequent extraction of teeth with periapical disease and even with pulpitis, due to the relatively small number of specialists in endodontics in this region of Turkey (27). Most dental specialists are concentrated in big cities in Turkey where more sophisticated dental care can be reached easily. Thus, it is questionable whether the patient population evaluated in the present study can be representative of the Turkish population in general (31). It is appropriate to mention that the general patient profile of our hospital consists of individuals with rather insufficient and limited socioeconomic status. So, unfortunately, individuals with such backgound often prefer to have their teeth extracted rather than to have endodontic treatment.

The concept of endodontically preserving natural teeth is just beginning to emerge in this community. This concept is not new to other countries or communities. The incidence of endodontic treatment will definitely increase in the upcoming years as public awareness on this issue also increases (25).

There are several epidemiological studies about AP and RFT frequency (Table 3). The differences between countries can be partially related to the health care systems (11, 30). For example, Japan has a compulsory insurance system, and all those living in Japan are covered by some form of insurance. This might contribute to the high prevalence of root canal treatment seen in Japanese population. Moreover, the cost of root canal treatment has also an effect on the preference of this treatment option (30).

The lack of standardized criteria to assess the frequency of AP and RFT in several published articles, establishing the correct level of measure unit (subject, tooth or root filled-tooth) create difficulties in comparing the outcomes of previous research with the present study. Variations in sampling procedures, type of radiograph examined and heterogenous samples, especially regarding the age of participants, are other probable sources of inconsistency (7). When samples obtained from Turkey are considered alone, frequency of AP (1.8%) of the present study was close to Gulsahi et al. (20) (1.4%) and Ozbas et al. (25) (1.63%) but lower than Sunay et al. (31) (4.2%). The RFT frequency found in this study (3.7%) was consistent with Gulsahi et al. (20) (3.3%) and was within the range described by Ozbas. et al. (25) (1.55%) and Sunay et al. (31) (5.3%).

The discrepancies may have been caused by methodological differences or by changing the number of the extracted teeth with AP due to an inadequate endodontic treatment and apical pathology (6, 20). Thus, the results might vary from those obtained from another population of the same country (20). Considering the design of the present study, the radiographs were examined at a single time point and no information was available regarding when the endodontic treatments are performed. Therefore, it was not possible to determine whether a periapical lesion is healing or not (11, 17, 25, 31, 32). According to our findings, the frequencies of AP and endodontic treatment increased with age, which is in accordance with some researchers (2, 29) but it did not show statistical significance among different age groups. This increase may be a cumulative effect resulting from longer exposure to function, caries, and iatrogenically derived pathologic conditions (8). Age-related changes of the dental pulp complex were well-described and influence the frequency of the endodontic treatment in elderly patients (7). Moreover younger people tend to visit the dentist more often when compared to elderly and thus they have a lower incidence of caries and periodontal diseases (3). The results of the present study showed that gender had no effect on frequency of RFT or AP. However, in some epidemiological studies, gender was reported to have an effect on the number of RFT or the presence of AP related to female predominance (17, 31). The authors (17, 31) claimed that this result may indicate the greater interest of female patients to have dental care and their regular attendance for check-ups.

Conclusion

This study provides an epidemiological data about AP and root canal treatment in a Turkish population; however, a radiograph provides only static information of a dynamic process. Therefore, a periapical lesion may either be increasing in size or healing. The frequencies of AP and RFT were found to increase with age, probably because of the longer exposure to caries and having subsequent dental procedures. Further studies of dental health involving larger samples that cover wider regions of Turkey will help to identify public dental health problems which will constitute an essential step in improving the general health status of the citizens of this country.

Source of funding

None declared

Conflict of interest

None declared

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Melek TASSOKER (1), Faruk AKGUNLU (2)

(1) Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology Faculty of Dentistry Necmettin Erbakan University

(2) Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology Faculty of Dentistry Selcuk University

(*) This study was presented as a poster at the 6th National Scientific Symposium & 1st International Congress of Turkish Oral Diagnosis and Maxillofacial Radiology Society (ODMFR 2015) in Izmir, Turkey.

Corresponding Author:

Melek TASSOKER

Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology Faculty of Dentistry Necmettin Erbakan University 42050-Karatay-Konya / Turkey

Phone: +90 332 220 00 26 / 154

e-mail: dishekmelek@gmail.com

Received: 20/10/2015

Accepted:15/01/2016
Table 1. The age distribution of examined teeth according to apical
status and endodontic treatment (AP; apical periodontitis).

Age group                Number of  Number of         Number of teeth
AP                       treatment  endodontically    with AP with or
                                    treated teeth     without endodontic
                                    with or without   present teeth
                                    AP

[less than or equal to]  1389        26 (1.8%)         12 (0.8%)
20 years
21-30 years              1354        43 (3.1%)         18 (1.3%)
31-40 years              1258        55 (4.3%)         18 (1.4%)
41-50 years              1210        55 (4.5%)         26 (2.1%)
50+ years                 985        52 (5.2%)         38 (3.8%)
Total                    6196       231 (3.7%)        112 (1.8%)

Table 2. The gender distribution of examined teeth according to the
apical status and endodontic treatment (AP; apical periodontitis).

Gender   Number of       Endodontically         Number of teeth with AP
         present teeth   treated teeth          with or without
                         with or without AP     endodontic present teeth

Female   3074              125 (4%)                   42 (1.3%)
Male     3122              106 (3.3%)                 70 (2.2%)
Total    6196               55 (4.3%)                 18 (1.4%)

Table 3. Findings of previous studies on apical periodontitis (AP) and
root-filled teeth (RFT) frequencies.

Author                 Year   No. of  Teeth with  Teeth with  Population
                              teeth   AP          RFT

Kirkevang et al. (29)  2001   15984    3.4%        4.8%        Danish
Jimenez-Pinzon         2004   4453     4.2%        2.1%        Spanish
et al. (5)
Sunay et al. (31)      2007   8863     4.2%        5.3%        Turkish
Gulsahi et al. (20)    2008   24433    1.4%        3.3%        Turkish
Kamberi et al. (3)     2011   4131    12,3%        2.3%        Kosovar
Peters et al. (21)     2011   4594     7%          4.8%        Dutch
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Title Annotation:ORIGINAL RESEARCH
Author:Tassoker, Melek; Akgunlu, Faruk
Publication:Journal of Istanbul University Faculty of Dentistry
Article Type:Report
Date:Aug 1, 2016
Words:4086
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