Healing of Apical Periodontitis after Nonsurgical Root Canal Treatment: The Role of Statin Intake

Published:August 02, 2018DOI:


      • In this longitudinal clinical study, healing of preoperative apical periodontitis was evaluated in patients on statins and control patients.
      • The study controlled for the following confounding variables: age, sex, length of time to evaluation, statin agent, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
      • A multivariate analysis showed a significant association between healing and the intake of statins (P < .05).



      Numerous previously undocumented factors may influence the healing of apical periodontitis (AP). The aim of this cohort study was to analyze the association between statin medication intake during the follow-up period and healing of AP.


      Patients who self-reported being on statins during nonsurgical root canal treatment or retreatment and patients who reported never taking statins were included. All patients who received treatment on a tooth with periapical radiolucency in the postgraduate endodontics clinic at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry (2011–2014) were invited for follow-up 2 to 5 years after treatment. Healing was determined using the periapical index (PAI). Two calibrated endodontists assessed outcomes blinded to the statin intake. The association of statin intake and healing of endodontic treatment (ie, healed [PAI 1–2]/not healed [PAI 3–5]) was analyzed using the Fisher exact test. Logistic regression analysis was used to explore the association between statin intake and treatment outcome, controlling for the following confounding variables: diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, and smoking, with confidence intervals set at 95%.


      A total of 60 cases were included in the final analysis, including 30 patients taking statins and 30 patients not taking statins as the control. The Fisher exact test showed significantly higher healing at the 2-year or greater follow-up in patients taking statins compared with controls (93.0% vs 70%; Fisher exact test, P = .02).


      The results of this study show a significant association between long-term statin intake and healing of AP after nonsurgical root canal treatment.

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