Degree of patient pain, complications, and satisfaction after root canal treatment or a single implant: a preliminary prospective investigation

J Endod. 2014 Dec;40(12):1940-5. doi: 10.1016/j.joen.2014.08.022. Epub 2014 Oct 8.


Introduction: Dentists often face the choice between tooth retention with root canal treatment and tooth replacement with implant treatment. To date, there has not been a prospective clinical trial directly comparing nonsurgical root canal treatment and single delayed implant therapy with regard to the degree of preoperative and postoperative pain, complications, and patient satisfaction.

Methods: Twenty-four patients had initial nonsurgical root canal treatment, and another 24 had single implant treatment in healed sites. Questionnaires were given at pretreatment, 7 days, 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months.

Results: All patients completed the 12-month follow-up period. No significant difference in pain, complications, or overall satisfaction was noted between the 2 groups at any of the time points (P > .05). However, there were differences within each group between the time points. There was more pain at pretreatment for root canal treatment and 7-day post-treatment point for single implant treatment than any other time point. For complications, more were reported at the 7-day post-treatment point than any other time point for both groups. With overall satisfaction, there was no difference from any time point for either group.

Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that patients perceive both treatments with high degrees of satisfaction with minimal pain and discomfort. Differences were found at different time points of treatment and were related to the nature of the treatment itself. This information is useful to help patients with treatment decisions.

Keywords: Complications; nonsurgical root canal treatment; patient satisfaction; single delayed implant.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health
  • Dental Implantation, Endosseous / methods
  • Dental Implantation, Endosseous / psychology
  • Dental Implants, Single-Tooth* / adverse effects
  • Dental Implants, Single-Tooth* / psychology
  • Dental Pulp Diseases / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pain, Postoperative / etiology*
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Periapical Diseases / therapy
  • Postoperative Complications*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Root Canal Therapy / adverse effects
  • Root Canal Therapy / methods*
  • Root Canal Therapy / psychology