• comparison;
  • post-treatment pain;
  • treatment modalities


Aim  The aim of this systematic review was to assess the evidence regarding postoperative pain and flare-up of single- or multiple-visit root canal treatment.

Methodology  CENTRAL, MEDLINE and EMBASE databases were searched. Reference lists from identified articles were scanned. A forward search was undertaken on the authors of the identified articles. Papers that had cited these articles were also identified through Science Citation Index to identify potentially relevant subsequent primary research.

Review methods  The included clinical studies compared the prevalence/severity of postoperative pain or flare-up in single- and multiple-visit root canal treatment. Data in those studies were extracted independently.

Results  Sixteen studies fitted the inclusion criteria in the review, with sample size varying from 60 to 1012 cases. The prevalence of postoperative pain ranged from 3% to 58%. The heterogeneity amongst included studies was far too great to conduct meta-analysis and yield meaningful results.

Conclusion  Compelling evidence indicating a significantly different prevalence of postoperative pain/flare-up of either single- or multiple-visit root canal treatment is lacking.