Précis & Objective
Severe post-operative pain following root canal therapy (RCT) occurs in about 20% of patients. The presence of persistent pain following RCT is about 10%, and initial evidence suggests that half of these patients experiencing persistent pain have a non-odontogenic etiology for this pain. Applying odontogenic strategies to treat non-odontogenic pain may increase incidence and duration of chronic oral pain. The overarching goal of this prospective observational cohort study was to investigate risk factors for severe pain following RCT, the prevalence and impact of persistent pain following RCT, and the impact of severe and persistent pain on health-related quality of life. Patient and treatment-related data was collected before and after RCT completion. Follow-up data was collected 1 week, 6 months, and 12 months following RCT completion. Approximately 150 practitioners from six National Dental PBRN regions enrolled approximately 1,650 adult patients.