Gerodontology 2016; doi:10.1111/ger.12231 Influence of increased patient age on longitudinal outcomes of root canal treatment: a systematic review
To conduct a systematic review of longitudinal endodontic outcomes in elders.
Negative opinions about the prognosis of non-surgical root canal treatment (NSRCT) in elders affect decisions made by patients and dentists. Patient, caregiver and dentist attitudes and behaviours may interact to decrease the provision of NSRCT. Critical examination of the available evidence through systematic review could provide objective data to assist patients, caregivers, healthcare providers and third-party payers in making decisions about the efficacy of NSRCT in elders and provide a robust foundation for the health promotion of NSRCT in elders.
Inclusion/exclusion criteria were used for defined searches in MEDLINE and Cochrane CENTRAL. Title lists were scanned, and abstracts read to determine utility; articles meeting inclusion/exclusion criteria were analysed. Data were extracted and compiled into a table of evidence.
Defined searching produced 3605 titles; 24 articles were included, nine prospective and 15 retrospective. Overall study quality was good. Patient samples mostly represented modern populations from countries with very high human development indices. Over 17 430 teeth were included. Meta-analysis was not attempted due to heterogeneity in reporting. All 24 included papers demonstrated that increased patient age did not decrease the success or survival rates of NSRCT.
This systematic review of longitudinal NSRCT outcomes demonstrated that increased patient age did not decrease the success of NSRCT. Patient age is not a prognostic factor for NSRCT. Age should not be considered by dentists or patients when making NSRCT decisions.