Clinical Oral Investigations

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 1327–1335 | Cite as

Retention of molars after root-resective therapy: a retrospective evaluation of up to 30 years

  • Hermann Derks
  • Derk Westheide
  • Thorsten Pfefferle
  • Peter Eickholz
  • Bettina Dannewitz
Original Article



Long-term retention of teeth and especially molars in function is the ultimate goal of periodontal therapy. Root-resective therapy is a treatment option for molars with advanced furcation involvement, which has been questioned because of the heterogenous success rates published in literature. This study aimed to evaluate long-term results of root-resective treatment over a period of up to 30 years.


In this retrospective cohort, 90 root-resected molars in 69 patients were examined for 4–30 years (14.7 ± 6.8 years). The complete treatment sequence was performed by one of the authors in a general dental practice.


Overall cumulative survival rate was 90.6% after 10 years, but then decreased considerably. Molars after root resection had a median survival time of 20 years. The incidence of endodontic complications leading to tooth extraction was only 26.7%, 50% were lost due to periodontal problems, and 16.7% because of caries. Mandibular molars had a significantly lower relative risk of loss than molars in the maxilla (HR 0.31, 95% CI 0.1–0.91, p = 0.033). Mandibular molars showed a survival probability of almost 80% even 20 years after root resection.


Root-resective therapy is a predictable treatment option, when care is administered at each phase of therapy.

Clinical relevance

This study provides important information about what is possible in daily practice under the outlines of public health care, when care is administered at each phase of resective therapy.


Resective therapy Tooth loss Tooth survival Tooth retention Molar Long-term results 



This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

For this type of study formal consent was not required.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Private Dental PracticeEmmerich am RheinGermany
  2. 2.Private Dental PracticeBad BramstedtGermany
  3. 3.Section of Endodontology, Department of Conservative Dentistry, Clinic for Oral, Dental and Maxillofacial DiseasesUniversity Hospital HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany
  4. 4.Department of Periodontology, Center of Dentistry and Oral Medicine (Carolinum)Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University FrankfurtFrankfurtGermany
  5. 5.Private Dental PracticeWeilburgGermany

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