Summary Review/Endodontics

Root canal treatment outcomes not affected by increasing age of patient

Article metrics


Data sources

Medline, Cochrane CENTRAL databases; most recent two years of seven journals: (Acta Odontologica Scandinavica; Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology; Gerodontology; International Endodontic Journal; Journal of Endodontics; Journal of Oral Rehabilitation; and Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology, and Endodontology).

Study selection

Tooth-based longitudinal prospective and retrospective studies, published in English from January 1950 to August 2013, assessing outcomes of NSRCT in adults with permanent teeth.

Data extraction and synthesis

Studies were independently selected and reviewed by two reviewers. Standardised items were extracted and compiled into a table of evidence. Study quality was assessed by the Wong Scale-Revised and those that scored less than 18 were excluded. Due to the high heterogeneity in reporting, meta-analysis was not conducted. All of the success criteria were implicitly based upon the presence or absence of apical pathology, and each individual study made internal comparisons of success using the same criteria.


Of the twenty four studies selected, involving more than 17,430 teeth, nine were prospective and fifteen were retrospective studies. The overall mean study quality rating was 23(SD = 3) on the 27-point Wong Scale-Revised. Since the majority of the papers did not report raw numbers, and due to the heterogeneity in reporting, meta-analysis was not performed. In summary, eight prospective and fourteen retrospective studies reported no difference in outcomes, principally success which was defined by the absence of apical disease, with age. One prospective and one retrospective study reported an improvement in success with increasing age.


The moderate evidence indicated that increased patient age does not decrease the success of NSRCT.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Ng YL, Mann V, Rahbaran S, Lewesey J, Gulabivala K . Outcome of primary root canal treatment: systematic review of the literature -- Part 2. Influence of clinical factors. Int Endod J 2008; 41:6–31.

Download references

Author information

Additional information

Address for correspondence: Shane N White, UCLA School of Dentistry, 23-010 CHS, 10833 Le Conte Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1668, USA. E-mail:

Shakiba B, Hamedy R, Pak JG, Barbizam JV, Ogawa R, White SN. Influence of increased patient age on longitudinal outcomes of root canal treatment: a systematic review. Gerodontology 2017; 34: 101–109.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Wong, Y. Root canal treatment outcomes not affected by increasing age of patient. Evid Based Dent 18, 47 (2017) doi:10.1038/sj.ebd.6401238

Download citation