Outcome of endodontic surgery: a meta-analysis of the literature--part 1: Comparison of traditional root-end surgery and endodontic microsurgery

J Endod. 2010 Nov;36(11):1757-65. doi: 10.1016/j.joen.2010.08.007. Epub 2010 Sep 17.


Introduction: The aim of this study was to investigate the outcome of root-end surgery. The specific outcome of traditional root-end surgery (TRS) versus endodontic microsurgery (EMS) and the probability of success for comparison of the 2 techniques were determined by means of meta-analysis and systematic review of the literature.

Methods: An intensive search of the literature was conducted to identify longitudinal studies evaluating the outcome of root-end surgery. Three electronic databases (Medline, Embase, and PubMed) were searched to identify human studies from 1966 to October 2009 in 5 different languages (English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish). Relevant articles and review papers were searched for cross-references. Five pertinent journals (Journal of Endodontics, International Endodontic Journal, Oral Surgery Oral Medicine Oral Pathology Oral Radiology and Endodontics, Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery) were individually searched back to 1975. Three independent reviewers (S.S., M.K., and F.S.) assessed the abstracts of all articles that were found according to predefined inclusion and exclusion criteria. Relevant articles were acquired in full-text form, and raw data were extracted independently by each reviewer. Qualifying papers were assigned to group TRS or group EMS. Weighted pooled success rates and relative risk assessment between TRS and EMS were calculated. A comparison between the groups was made by using a random effects model.

Results: Ninety-eight articles were identified and obtained for final analysis. In total, 21 studies qualified (12 for TRS [n = 925] and 9 for EMS [n = 699]) according to the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Weighted pooled success rates calculated from extracted raw data showed 59% positive outcome for TRS (95% confidence interval, 0.55-0.6308) and 94% for EMS (95% confidence interval, 0.8889-0.9816). This difference was statistically significant (P < .0005). The relative risk ratio showed that the probability of success for EMS was 1.58 times the probability of success for TRS.

Conclusions: The use of microsurgical techniques is superior in achieving predictably high success rates for root-end surgery when compared with traditional techniques.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Apicoectomy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Microsurgery / methods*
  • Probability
  • Risk Assessment
  • Treatment Outcome