By: Tallan Chew, BDS, David Brennan, BA (Hons), MPH, PhD, Giampiero Rossi-Fedele, DDS, MClinDent, PhD 
Published: June 12, 2019


The literature assessing quality of life for subjects who have undergone root canal treatment (RCT) is scarce. The aim of this study was to compare the effect of RCT with other dental services (exodontia, restorative, prosthodontics, periodontics, and negative controls [preventative and scale and clean]) on oral health–related quality of life.

A random sample of 3000 adults aged 30–61 years was obtained from the Australian electoral roll in 2009. Data were collected through questionnaires, dental service logbooks, and treatment receipts. The impact their dentition had at baseline and the 2-year follow-up for the Oral Health Impact Profile-14 and the self-rated dental health score followed by “global transition statement of change” (GTSC) was assessed. Binary regression models were used to compare the outcomes.

Responses were collected from 1096 respondents (response rate = 36.5%). After adjustment (for age, sex, household income, and reason for visit), the RCT group had significant differences (P ≤ .05) to other dental services at the 2-year follow-up using the Oral Health Impact Profile-14 (odds ratio = 0.34; 95% confidence interval, 0.12–0.96) and GTSC (odds ratio = 0.29; 95% confidence interval, 0.09–0.88) but not with individual treatment groups. Using the self-rated dental health score/GTSC, only the prosthodontic treatment group had a significant difference to the RCT group at baseline, whereas the negative controls (P ≤ .01) had significant differences to the RCT group with the odds for improved health 5 times higher, at 2-year follow-up.

The RCT group presented with similar oral health–related quality of life when compared with the other individual treatment groups; however, they consistently reported poorer oral health outcomes when the negative controls were included.