To describe changes in periapical and endodontic status in a general adult Danish population examined in 1997, 2003 and 2008.
The study provides longitudinal, observational information on endodontic status for 327 individuals who participated in three consecutive full-mouth radiographic examinations performed with an approximately 5-year interval. The collected data allow changes to be investigated within and between age-cohorts.
The median number of teeth declined slightly, but the number of individuals with apical periodontitis (AP) and with root filled teeth increased. The number of teeth with AP and of teeth with root fillings increased, whereas the number of root filled teeth with AP was almost stable. The proportion of individuals who had no AP and the proportion of individuals who had no root fillings decreased during the 10-year observation period. The proportion of teeth with AP/individual increased steadily with age, unaffected by the different time periods. Differences were found between the age groups for the proportion of root filled teeth/individual where the younger age-cohorts had root fillings performed later in life and at a slower rate. In the old age-cohort, the proportion of lost teeth/individual was much larger and showed a stronger increase with age, than in the younger age-cohorts.
The younger age-cohorts will probably never reach the proportion of root fillings or lost teeth seen in the oldest age-cohort. However, it is disturbing that the proportion of teeth with AP/individual increased steadily with age, completely unaffected by the different time periods.