Research

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 funds about $260,000 in research grants each year as well as special projects. Currently, a $2.5 million, multi-center study in regenerative endodontics is underway.

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

In early 2014, the Foundation for Endodontics embarked on research investment that will help endodontics to ride the tide that promises sweeping changes in clinical practice for both dentistry and medicine. The grant totals more than $2.5 million over a six-year period. Below is a matrix that details the information about each project:

AAE Research Priorities

Updated January 4, 2012

Below are the nine main knowledge areas of focus.

Click to visit the Research Priorities page to view the subtopics assigned to each of these areas.

  1. Assessment of Clinical Outcomes
  2. Assessment of New 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

AAE Research and Education Resources

Following are links to related research and education: