Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Dentistry



First Advisor

Dr. Karan J Replogle

Second Advisor

Dr. John C Gunsolley

Third Advisor

Dr. Richard D Archer

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Alvin M Best

Fifth Advisor

Dr. Garry L Myers


Symptomatic apical periodontitis (SAP) is indicative of inflammation of the periodontal ligament. It may or may not be accompanied by radiographic changes and may occur with vital or necrotic pulpal diagnosis. Purpose of this study was to analyze clinical and radiographic presentations of SAP in a retrospective electronic dental chart and digital radiograph review utilizing the endodontic diagnostic template note of predoctoral dental school patients presenting with SAP. The aim was to determine prevalence of periapical radiolucencies (PARLs) in SAP, association of SAP to pulpal diagnosis, and define associated radiographic changes. Most prevalent pulpal diagnosis with SAP was symptomatic irreversible pulpitis (44%). A tooth presenting with SAP was more likely to have an intact lamina dura, but presented with a PARL 38% of the time. When a PARL was present the most common pulpal diagnosis was pulp necrosis however, 24.5% of teeth presented with a vital pulp diagnosis and lesions <2mm.


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