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Promoting the Specialty

Endodontic research drives innovation, technology, and improved patient care. Each new discovery strengthens the evidence basis for the success of root canal treatment. Science is the specialty’s best advocate for the value of saving teeth.

The AAE strives to deliver professional advancement and personal fulfillment to its members through research opportunities and scientific resources. The Research and Scientific Affairs Committee guides the Association’s efforts in this arena; they also collaborate with others to ensure that members receive cutting-edge information about developments in dentistry.

The AAE has defined the knowledge areas in which the specialty should focus the greatest attention. These priorities change in response to developments in clinical practice.

Practice-Based Research Networks

In an attempt to enhance research, the AAE encourages endodontists to participate in Practice-Based Research Networks. Organized by academic institutions, PBRNs conduct research in non-university-based dental practices on a variety of clinical issues. This model allows practicing clinicians to identify problems to investigate and offers a large patient population to study. Areas of endodontic interest are:

  • Preoperative pain and root canal therapy
  • Persistent pain and root canal therapy
  • Outcomes of endodontic treatment and restoration
  • Analgesic use and effectiveness of dental practices
  • Complete vs. partial removal of deep caries
  • Assessing the outcomes of cracked teeth
  • Mineral trioxide aggregate vs. calcium hydroxide in direct pulp capping
  • Dentin hypersensitivity in general practices

Evidence-Based Endodontics

Evidence-based endodontics integrates the best research with clinical expertise and patient values. The previous Evidence-Based Endodontics Committee identified two websites that provide access to a large number of resources on this topic, including systematic reviews, meta-analyses, summary statements and practice guidelines that pertain to endodontics and related disciplines, and other information related to evidence-based research.

The Foundation for Endodontics Is an Important Partner

The Foundation for Endodontics is a critical resource for endodontic researchers and academic departments. The Foundation provides funding that is not available from any other source. Foundation grants help residents gain experience in the lab and help faculty develop projects that may be submitted to larger funding organizations, such as the National Institutes of Dental and Craniofacial Research. The Foundation budgets for a variety of research programs annually. In 2021, they also completed funded a seven-year, $2.5 million, multi-center study in regenerative endodontics.

Below are several opportunities, guidelines and instructions, and applications for researchers to submit proposals:

AAE Research Priorities

Click to visit the Research Priorities page.

  1. Assessment of Clinical Outcomes
  2. Assessment of New Methods of Diagnosis, Treatment Modalities and Technology, such as Devices and Materials
  3. Biology of Pulpal and Periradicular Tissues
  4. Cracks and Fractures in Teeth
  5. Demographics/Epidemiology of Pulpal and Periradicular Disease
  6. Endodontic/Implant Relationships
  7. External and Internal Resorption
  8. Educational Research
  9. Tissue Engineering—Regeneration of the Pulpodentin Complex and Periradicular Tissues
  10. Trauma
  11. COVID-19 Focused Studies
    1. Studies focusing on the biological aspects of COVID-19 and the potential implications to pulpal and periapical disease and healing.
    2. Epidemiological studies looking at direct infection of dental/endodontic patients and dental care providers/staff.
    3. Assessment on adequate clinical/chair-side testing, validation and risk review for suspected COVID patients in practice.
    4. Assessment on patient management and prevention of nosocomial infection. i.e. studies considering safety and best practices in reducing or eliminating aerosol production, impact of dental dam use on eliminating viral-containing aerosols, comparison of products for aerosol production (i.e.; electric handpieces (e.g., 0.1-0.5% NaOCl), as well as other safety and hazard issues associated with COVID-19 risk. Studies addressing specific recommendations for using the microscope; ultrasonics, handpiece guidelines and other specific issues involving the chairside practice of endodontics for a specialty office, for best practices in infection control but not necessarily in viral aerosols or other aspects of viral spread or viral protections are welcome.
    5. Survey Assessment of the effect of COVID-19 on endodontic clinical practice.

AAE Research and Education Resources

Following are links to related research and education: