Prevalence and Quality of Endodontic Treatment in the Northern Manhattan Elderly

Chia Yi Chen, Gunnar Hasselgren, Neill Serman, Mitchell S.V. Elkind, Moïse Desvarieux, Steven P. Engebretson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pulpitis results in significant morbidity among the elderly, particularly in underserved communities. We collected panoramic oral radiographs from 244 (mean age 67) participants of the Northern Manhattan Study, a prospective cohort study of stroke risk in a multiethnic urban population. Radiographs were evaluated for missing teeth, caries, restorations, periodontal bone loss, adequacy of endodontic treatment, and periapical radiolucencies. In the study 206 subjects were dentate (mean 17.1 teeth). 5.1% of teeth had periapical radiolucencies, and 4.8% had been endodontically treated; 37.5% of endodontically treated teeth had periapical radiolucencies. Teeth with restorations, periodontal bone loss, pulpotomy, and inadequate root canal filling had a significantly higher occurrence of periapical radiolucency (p < 0.05). Among all root filled teeth, only 26% were deemed satisfactory. We conclude that apical periodontitis is widely prevalent and the technical standard of root fillings is poor in this cohort. There is a substantial need for improved dental care among the northern Manhattan elderly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)230-234
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of endodontics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2007


  • Epidemiology
  • periapical status
  • radiographic evaluation
  • root-canal treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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