Journal of Conservative Dentistry
Home About us Editorial Board Instructions Submission Subscribe Advertise Contact e-Alerts Login 
Users Online: 2607
Print this page  Email this page Bookmark this page Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size

Table of Contents   
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 184-189
A retrospective three-dimensional assessment of the prevalence of apical periodontitis and quality of root canal treatment in Mid-West Indian population

1 Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, M.A. Rangoonwala Dental College and Research Centre, Pune, Maharashtra, India
2 M.A. Rangoonwala College of Dental Sciences and Research Center, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Click here for correspondence address and email

Date of Submission23-Jan-2021
Date of Decision07-Jun-2021
Date of Acceptance18-Jun-2021
Date of Web Publication09-Oct-2021


Introduction: This study aims to report a retrospective observation of the prevalence of apical periodontitis (AP) and quality of root canal treatment in cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) scans among the Mid-West Indian population.
Materials and Methods: A total of 1229 CBCT scans were obtained across different CBCT centers in western India. After the exclusion criteria, those that were included were divided into broadly two groups – those that were filled and those that were unfilled. Various parameters were taken into account such as AP, length of the root canal filled, and coronal filling.
Results: There were a significantly higher percentage of nonfilled canals. Poor filling quality, inadequate coronal restoration, and also missed extra canal were significantly associated with AP. Both males and females showed higher presence of AP in the nonfilled teeth than filled ones (X2 - Chi square value M = 612.156, P < 0.00001, X2 F = 1032.9092, P < 0.00001).
Conclusion: (1) The inadequacy of the filling of the root length was a contributory factor to the higher prevalence of AP among the study population. (2) The density of the filling and the quality of the coronal filling also significantly affected the successful outcome of the root canal treatment.

Keywords: Apical periodontitis, cone-beam computed tomography, nonfilled teeth, root canal therapy, treated teeth

How to cite this article:
Mujawar A, Hegde V, Srilatha S. A retrospective three-dimensional assessment of the prevalence of apical periodontitis and quality of root canal treatment in Mid-West Indian population. J Conserv Dent 2021;24:184-9

How to cite this URL:
Mujawar A, Hegde V, Srilatha S. A retrospective three-dimensional assessment of the prevalence of apical periodontitis and quality of root canal treatment in Mid-West Indian population. J Conserv Dent [serial online] 2021 [cited 2023 Nov 30];24:184-9. Available from:

   Introduction Top

Apical periodontitis (AP) is an acute or chronic inflammatory disease occurring in the periodontal tissues mostly by microorganisms from the infected root canal.[1],[2] In nontreated teeth, AP represents a defensive response to infection, however, in post endodontic treated teeth, the presence of AP is either due to reinfection of the root canal system due to inadequate cleaning, obturation, or inadequate coronal seal that allows the bacterial penetration, extrusion of irrigant, medicaments, sealer, and obturating material into the periapical tissue.[2]

An ideal clinical and radiographic scenario should be healing and absence of disease (AP); clinical and radiologic criteria are commonly used to access the status of endodontic treatment, but morphologic variations, bone density, and angulations of radiographs can impact radiographic interpretations.[3] The role of periapical radiographs is indispensable, as it provides evidence of the presence, absence, and persistence of AP,[3] but these are the two-dimensional depictions of three-dimensional structure and the limitations are well entrenched.[4] Cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) is an advanced technology that is widely applied in various fields of dentistry. It provides three-dimensional (3D) imaging of maxillofacial structures without superimposition of the anatomical landmarks. Studies have reported high accuracy of CBCT in the assessment of AP.[5] Various studies have suggested that the improvement of the quality of root canal treatment is essential to improve the health of the periapical status. One study reports a direct relation of good postendodontic restorations to success rate (80 vs. 75.7%), and poor restorations resulted in significantly more failed cases when compared with poor endodontics (30.2 vs. 48.6%).[6],[7] Unfortunately, a high percentage of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) chiefly performed by general practitioners have been reported in many surveys, i.e., 24.5%–65.8% of the endodontically treated teeth presented with AP.[8],[9],[10],[11] Very few studies have been reported out among the Indian population regarding root canal filling and periapical status. We report the retrospective observation of CBCT scan reports of the same among the population across Mid-West India.

   Materials and Methods Top

Study population

The sample consisted of 1229 CBCT scans of patients reported to the two CBCT centers (3D Accuitomo and Orthophos XG 3D, Sirona, Germany, voxel size 0.5 mm) across the mid-west of India. All the scans were taken between November 16, 2019, and August 16, 2020. A gap of 3 months from March to May was taken for the study, as there was lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. All the CBCTs were taken for diagnostic purposes such as implant planning, orthognathic surgery, and endodontic evaluation. No patient underwent CBCT scans exclusively for this study. The study was approved by the ethical committee of the institute (MCES/EC/604-A/2019).

Inclusion criteria were as follows: (1) patients between 25 and 45 years of age, (2) permanent teeth, and (3) good quality scans.

Exclusion criteria were as follows: (1) maxillary and mandibular third molar, (2) distorted and blur scans, and (3) scans with deciduous teeth (pls exclude scans with no teeth). After exclusion criteria were employed, 1016 scans with a total of 26,669 permanent teeth were present.

Radiographic assessment

CBCT scans were evaluated using Orthophos XG 3D (Sirona, GmbH, Germany). The scans were evaluated using Galileo's software version (1.9.2) in sagittal and axial sections at the coronal middle and apical portion on a 30” monitor with a resolution of 2660 × 1600 pixels (Dell 3008WFP, Dell Inc.). For every patient, the information was recorded on a customized Excel form: (i) name, (ii) age, (iii) gender, (iv) number and location of root canal-filled teeth with AP, (v) number and location of root-filled teeth without AP, and (vi) the number of unfilled teeth with AP. The total teeth were categorized into two groups: Endodontically treated and nontreated teeth. In endodontically treated teeth, the following parameters were assessed:

Apical periodontitis

  1. AP is radiolucency in connection with the apical part of the root, exceeding at least two times the width of the lateral part of the periodontal ligament
  2. Multirooted teeth were classified according to the root exhibiting the most severe periapical condition.

Root-filled teeth

  1. A tooth with a radiopaque material in the pulp chamber and/or root canals was considered root filled or endodontically treated
  2. An adequate root filling was defined as a root filling contained within the tooth, terminating no more than 2 mm from the radiographic apex and without visible voids
  3. A root filling more than 2 mm short of the radiographic apex, containing voids or extruded beyond the apical foramen, was considered an inadequate root filling
  4. Multirooted teeth were categorized by the root with the most inadequate root filling.

Coronal restoration

  1. Coronal restoration (CR) was defined as a restoration of the coronal part of the tooth
  2. Crowns or partial restorations such as inlays and onlays were considered indirect restorations
  3. The quality of the restoration was also assessed radiographically and classified inadequate if the restorations were absent or if recurrent caries, open margins, or overhangs were detectable
  4. In addition, the presence or absence of posts was noted.

Missed canals

All the scans specific to the teeth were evaluated for missed canals considering the incidence of extra canals.

The descriptions of parameters are listed in [Table 1].
Table 1: Description of parameters assessed in the study

Click here to view

All the observations were done by two different and experienced radiologists.

Statistical methods

The data were tabulated and statistical analysis was carried out using SPSS, Chicago, USA, 22.0 using Chi-square test. P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

   Results Top

A total of 1016 scans with 26,669 permanent teeth were included in the final reporting of this retrospective study. [Table 2] shows the distribution of the teeth as per the periapical status.
Table 2: Distribution of cone-beam computed tomography examined teeth according to periapical status P=0.00001

Click here to view

We observed that there was a significantly higher percentage of an inadequately filled canal associated with AP. Furthermore, a greater amount of overextended fillings were seen compared to adequate filled canals. A higher percentage of the inadequate density of filling was observed with positive cases of AP. Thus, a statistically significant percentage of adequately filled canals were associated with no AP. Poor filling quality, inadequate CR, and also missed extra canal were significantly associated with AP. [Table 3] shows the distribution of various parameters across the different teeth. [Table 4] shows the relationship between parameters recorded on CBCT and the type of teeth. [Table 5] shows the gender-wise distribution of the presence or absence of AP.
Table 3: Relationship between parameters recorded in root-filled teeth

Click here to view
Table 4: Relationship between parameters recorded on cone-beam computed tomography and the type of teeth

Click here to view
Table 5: The gender-wise distribution of the presence or absence of apical periodontitis

Click here to view

   Discussion Top

To predict the future needs for dental treatment in a growing population, it is important to assess the endodontic and periodontal status of teeth, so as to evaluate the need for improvement or additional expertisation. The quality of root canal preparation, obturation, and coronal seal are essential factors to achieve high success rates even in infected canals. Retrospective studies have demonstrated a high prevalence of AP in many western countries. Prevalence of 20%–60% is commonly reported by German, Dutch Suleiman, Turkish, and other populations.[10],[11],[15] However, most studies originate from the Scandinavian and European populations. Although the frequency of root-filled teeth and technical quality of the treatment varied among these epidemiological studies, they revealed an association between the quality of root fillings and the periapical status, and this emphasized that improvement in the quality of root fillings is required to promote periapical health.

The variation in these parameters could originate from the different study populations, types of teeth, different age groups, and periods for the data collection. The prevalence of AP and root canal-filled teeth has been studied across the world; however, studies in the Indian population are scarce. Some studies have used periapical radiograph for evaluation of AP[16],[17] while others used panoramic radiograph[12],[18] and yet others used a combination of both periapical and panoramic images.[13],[19] An intraoral radiograph gives a two-dimensional image for three-dimensional structure. Estrela et al., in their review of epidemiological studies, viewed the limits of periapical and panoramic radiography.[3] Wu et al., in the function of the limitation of previous systematic reviews evaluating the root canal outcome, considered the need of re-evaluating the outcome of longitudinal studies using CBCT.[20]

CBCT provides multiplanar images in submillimeter resolution; moreover, the greater sensitivity of CBCT scans will aid in the precise assessment of the periapical region and improve the reliability of prevalence studies on AP.[21],[22] According to Patel et al., 2019,[3] CBCT provides additional information which improves diagnostic accuracy in decision-making and treatment planning. The previous studies which were based on CBCT images had a small sample size.[21] The current study included scans from 1016 patients. A recognized limitation of cross-sectional studies is the impossibility to determine whether an AP lesion is healing or expanding. Petersson et al.[23] found that after a 10-year period, the number of healed periapical lesions was equal to the number of newly developed lesions, indicating that the results of cross-sectional studies remain meaningful.

The prevalence of AP was higher than the previously reported epidemiological studies by Chala et al.[2] and Tavares et al.[24] In the present study, we observed that inadequate or overfilling of the canal was strongly associated with the AP similar to the results of Sunay et al.[11] We also observed that there was lesser AP associated with nonendodontically filled canals, similar to the reports by Van der Vekeen et al.[22] In the present study, the prevalence of AP in endodontically treated teeth was 35%, which is less than the studies reported from Scotland (51%),[23] Canada (51%),[13] Denmark (52%),[10] Turkey (53%),[11] Spain (65.8%),[8] and Germany (61%).[25] The discrepancies observed between the results of different studies might be explained by the following aspects: (i) lack of an equal proportion of the populations being compared, (ii) lack of standardization of the methods of radiographic assessment, (iii) use of teeth or individuals as referential, (iv) quality of endodontic treatment rated by either general dentists or endodontists, and (v) different levels of endodontic practice and infection control in the different populations as stated by Khullar et al.[7] We also observed that there was an apparent increase in AP with an increase in the tendency to miss an extra canal. Gender wise, there was an increased AP observed regarding both filled and nonfilled teeth among the females compared to the males. This probably could be because of more number of female samples in our study. Although there is no specific literature to support gender-based failure cases of RCTs, further observations on this parameter could add to interesting insights.

There were significantly fewer filled teeth than unfilled ones, which could be due to lack of awareness, affordability, and neglect among the Indian population. This was in contrast to the reports by Van der Vekeen et al., where a higher percentage of filled canals were present in the study.[22] Furthermore, the same study reported 54.5% of the inadequately filled canal, whereas we observed 55.24% of teeth to be inadequately filled. Kirkevang et al.[10] observed that the success of the root canal also depended upon the coronal filling, and not only on the adequacy of the apical seal,[11] but Siqueira et al.[14] report that this may not always be essential. The observations by Van der Vekeen et al.[22] provide no significant association between these parameters, which is in contrast to our findings, where significant association was observed between the poor quality of coronal filling and AP.[22] An Indian study reported that AP was present in approximately 37% of the teeth which had adequate CRs compared to 83% of the teeth which did not have adequate CRs. Furthermore, the mixture of adequate CR and adequate root filling resulted in a significantly reduced incidence of AP (21.6%) compared to the presence of AP (97%) when both parameters scored as inadequate. AP was four times more likely to be presented in unacceptable RCTs, and three times more likely in inappropriate CR compared with the appropriate ones, which was very much higher than the observations of our study.[7]

Artifacts such as metallic objects may hinder the observation of CBCT images and hence it is difficult to assess the coronal restorations. A combination of clinical and radiographic diagnostic tests would be useful.[3],[26]

Gender-wise no significant difference was present in terms of apical periodontitis in this study. These results are inconsistent with other studies reported in the literature.[1],[3] Siqueira et al. found that the quality of the CR was significantly less important than the quality of the root filling.[14] Hommez et al., 2002,[27] found both quality of root filling and CR to be equally important. The results of the present study revealed the significant impact of the CR on AP when the root filling was adequate. Study protocols evaluating the quality of CRs concerning the prevalence of AP should combine both clinical and radiographic examinations. It seems reasonable to emphasize that, in the interest of the patient, both CR and root canal treatment should be of the best possible quality[28].

The study has certain limitations:

  1. We cannot generalize this finding to entire India, since no specific random sampling was followed. Subjecting the patients to CBCT simply for the sake of the study was not considered to be an ethical approach by the authors
  2. More detailed distribution of the patients across other parameters such as age and sex was essential. However, previous studies also have not reported much of any significant gender and age predilection of AP and endodontically treated teeth
  3. This study can serve as a planning guideline in a teaching institute set up well equipped with CBCT.

   Conclusion Top

We conclude the following from our observation:

  1. The inadequacy of the filling of the root length was a contributory factor to the higher prevalence of AP among the study population
  2. The density of the filling and the quality of the coronal filling also significantly affected the successful outcome of the RCT
  3. Missed canals gave rise to higher AP
  4. Untreated or unfilled teeth showed significantly lesser AP than the endodontically filled teeth.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

Chala S, Abouqal R, Abdallaoui F. Prevalence of apical periodontitis and factors associated with the periradicular status. Acta Odontol Scand 2011;69:355-9.  Back to cited text no. 1
Metzger Z. Macrophages in periapical lesions of endodontic origin. In: Ingles's Endodontic Practice. 6th ed. Hamilton, Ontario: BC Decker; 2008. p. 494-519.  Back to cited text no. 2
Estrela C, Bueno MR, Leles CR, Azevedo B, Azevedo JR. Accuracy of cone beam computed tomography and panoramic and periapical radiography for detection of apical periodontitis. J Endod 2008;34:273-9.  Back to cited text no. 3
Patel S, Brown J, Pimentel T, Kelly RD, Abella F, Durack C. Cone beam computed tomography in endodontics: A literature review. Int J Endod 2019;52:1138-52.  Back to cited text no. 4
de Paula-Silva FW, Wu MK, Leonardo MR, da Silva LA, Wesselink PR. Accuracy of periapical radiography and cone-beam computed tomography scans in diagnosing apical periodontitis using histopathological findings as a gold standard. J Endod 2009;35:1009-12.  Back to cited text no. 5
Ingle JI. Ingle's Endodontics. 6th ed. Ontario: BC Decker; 2008. p. 1091-4.  Back to cited text no. 6
Khullar P, Raisingani D, Gupta S, Khatri RK. A survey report on effect of root canal fillings and coronal restorations on the periapical status of endodontically treated teeth in a selected group of population. Int J Clin Pediatr Dent 2013;6:89-94.  Back to cited text no. 7
Eriksen HM, Kirkevang LL, Petersson K. Endodontic epidemiology and treatment outcome: General considerations. Endod Topics 2002;2:1-9.  Back to cited text no. 8
Imfeld TN. Prevalence and quality of endodontic treatment in an elderly urban population of Switzerland. J Endod 1991;17:604-7.  Back to cited text no. 9
Kirkevang LL, Hörsted-Bindslev P, Ørstavik D, Wenzel A. Frequency and distribution of endodontically treated teeth and apical periodontitis in an urban Danish population. Int Endod J 2001;34:198-205.  Back to cited text no. 10
Sunay H, Tanalp J, Dikbas I, Bayirli G. Cross-sectional evaluation of the periapical status and quality of root canal treatment in a selected population of urban Turkish adults. Int Endod J 2007;40:139-45.  Back to cited text no. 11
De Moor RJ, Hommez GM, De Boever JG, Delmé KI, Martens GE. Periapical health related to the quality of root canal treatment in a Belgian population. Int Endod J 2000;33:113-20.  Back to cited text no. 12
Dugas NN, Lawrence HP, Teplitsky PE, Pharoah MJ, Friedman S. Periapical health and treatment quality assessment of root-filled teeth in two Canadian populations. Int Endod J 2003;36:181-92.  Back to cited text no. 13
Siqueira JF Jr., Rôças IN, Alves FR, Campos LC. Periradicular status related to the quality of coronal restorations and root canal fillings in a Brazilian population. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod 2005;100:369-74.  Back to cited text no. 14
Ahmed I, Ali RW, Mudawi AM. Prevalence of apical periodontitis and frequency of root-filled teeth in an adult Sudanese population. Clin Exp Dent Res 2017;3:142-7.  Back to cited text no. 15
Boucher Y, Matossian L, Rilliard F, Machtou P. Radiographic evaluation of the prevalence and technical quality of root canal treatment in a French subpopulation. Int Endod J 2002;35:229-38.  Back to cited text no. 16
Tsuneishi M, Yamamoto T, Yamanaka R, Tamaki N, Sakamoto T, Tsuji K, et al. Radiographic evaluation of periapical status and prevalence of endodontic treatment in an adult Japanese population. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod 2005;100:631-5.  Back to cited text no. 17
Gumru B, Tarcin B, Pekiner FN, Ozbavrak S. Retrospective radiological assessment of root canal treatment in young permanent dentition in a Turkish subpopulation. Int Endod J 2011;44:850-6.  Back to cited text no. 18
Al Rahabi M, Younes HB. A cross sectional study of the quality of root canal treatment in Al–Madinah Al-Munawarah. Saudi Endod J 2016;6:31-5.  Back to cited text no. 19
Wu MK, Shemesh H, Wesselink PR. Limitations of previously published systematic reviews evaluating the outcome of endodontic treatment. Int Endod J 2009;42:656-66.  Back to cited text no. 20
Fernandes LM, Zapala RO, Duarte MA, Capelozza AA. Prevalence of apical periodontitis in cone beam CT images of a brazilian population. Dentomaxillofac Radiol 2013;42:80179613.  Back to cited text no. 21
Van der Veken D, Curvers F, Fieuws S, Lambrechts P. Prevalence of apical periodontitis and root filled teeth in a Belgian subpopulation found on CBCT images. Int Endod J 2017;50:317-29.  Back to cited text no. 22
Petersson K, Håkansson R, Håkansson J, Olsson B, Wennberg A. Follow-up study of endodontic status in an adult Swedish population. Endod Dent Traumatol 1991;7:221-5.  Back to cited text no. 23
Tavares PB, Bonte E, Boukpessi T, Siqueira JF Jr., Lasfargues JJ. Prevalence of apical periodontitis in root canal-treated teeth from an urban French population: Influence of the quality of root canal fillings and coronal restorations. J Endod 2009;35:810-3.  Back to cited text no. 24
Weiger R, Hitzler S, Hermle G, Löst C. Periapical status, quality of root canal fillings and estimated endodontic treatment needs in an urban German population. Endod Dent Traumatol 1997;13:69-74.  Back to cited text no. 25
Hommez GM, Coppens CR, De Moor RJ. Periapical health related to the quality of coronal restorations and root fillings. Int Endod J 2002;35:680-9.  Back to cited text no. 26
Lost C, Zann ZF, Kieferheilkunde M, Zahnerhaltung PF. Quality guidelines of endodontic treatment: Consensus report of the European Society of Endodontology. Int J Endod 2006;27:115-24.  Back to cited text no. 27
European society of endodontology. Quality guidelines for endodontic treatment; consensus report of the european society of endodontology. Int Endod J 2006;39:921-30  Back to cited text no. 28

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Asiya Mujawar
Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, M.A. Rangoonwala Dental College and Research Centre, Hidayatullah Azam Campus Camp, Pune, Maharashtra
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcd.jcd_44_21

Rights and Permissions


  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5]

This article has been cited by
1 Periapical Status of Non–Root-Filled Teeth With Amalgam, Composite, or Crown Restorations: A Cross-Sectional Study
Aladdin Al-Qudah, Diana Abdul Jawad, Maram Jaradat
International Dental Journal. 2022;
[Pubmed] | [DOI]


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

    Materials and Me...
    Article Tables

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded51    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 1    

Recommend this journal